O’NEILL FAVOURITE AS TRAPATTONI OUSTED AS REPUBLIC MANAGER

Martin O'Neill is the favourite to manage the Republic of Ireland

Martin O’Neill is the favourite to manage the Republic of Ireland

REPUBLIC of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni has parted company with the FAI.

His departure now opens the door for former Sunderland and Celitc manager Martin O’Neill to become his successor..

In a statement, the Football Association of Ireland said the 74-year-old Italian’s departure was “by mutual consent.”

Assistant Marco Tardelli has also left.

Speaking following the meeting, Giovanni Trapattoni thanked everyone in Ireland who gave both he and Tardelli their support during their time in Ireland ”which meant a lot to us.”

He added: “We leave this country with emotion because we understand the Irish supporters who have a well-deserved international reputation and they have our utmost respect.

“I would like to thank John Delaney, Paddy McCaul, Michael Cody and the FAI Board for their support and friendship over the last five and a half years.

“I would also want to thank all FAI staff members, including the backroom team and the players who have been great to work with during the last three campaigns. I wish them well in the future and hope that the job we have done leaves everything in a good place for my successor to take over.”

Making the announcement, FAI chief executive John Delaney said, “We thank Giovanni Trapattoni, Marco Tardelli and Franco Rossi for the last five and a half years during which we qualified for our first major tournament in ten years and were close to qualification for 2010 World Cup in South Africa after the play-off in France.

“This particular World Cup campaign has been disappointing but Giovanni leaves us with a group of good young players which should form the basis of the squad that the new manager will use for the European Championships in France 2016 when 24 teams qualify.”

Mr Delaney said the board of the FAI will meet in due course to discuss the process of appointing a new manager.

O’Neill is the FAI’s preferred option, given the fact he is out of work thus ruling out the question of compensation being paid to a club.

It is believed the duo’s departure has cost the FAI over £800,000 – their contracts were to run to June next year.

However, with no compensation to be paid to a club for O’Neill’s services they obviously decided it’s a payment worth making.

Among those backing O’Neill to become the new manager is former Republic of Ireland manager, Steve Staunton.

He said O’Neill was “very experienced” and his appointment “would not be a bad shout.”

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