FORMER Sunderland manager Martin O’Neill has been installed as the odds-on favourite to become the next Republic of Ireland boss after the departure of Giovanni Trapattoni.
Trapattoni has parted company with the Irish after failing to guide the nation to next summer’s World Cup finals in Brazil.
A 1-0 defeat in Austria on Tuesday evening left Ireland with only a purely mathematical possibility of overhauling Sweden to snatch second place in Group C, and, after meeting with the Football Association of Ireland this morning, Trapattoni and assistant Marco Tardelli have left by mutual consent.
The 74-year-old Italian said: “I want to thank everyone in Ireland who has given us their support during our time here which has always meant a lot to us.
“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.”
The FAI Board will meet in due course to consider a replacement with O’Neill, sacked as Sunderland boss in March, currently the bookmakers’ favourite to succeed Trapattoni.
Former Ireland midfielder Matt Holland said today: “The big favourite is Martin O’Neill, he’s the one everyone is talking about.
“He’s out of a job and very much in the running.”