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12th Sep 2023

FAI reportedly line up Lee Carsley to replace Stephen Kenny as ex-Liverpool boss discussed

Robert Redmond

Ireland Lee Carsley

Carsley is currently England Under-21 manager.

Stephen Kenny is set to leave his role as Republic of Ireland manager, according to reports.

The Ireland manager looks unlikely to be in situ for the matches against Greece and Gibraltar next month after the team’s hopes of qualifying for Euro 2024 were dashed with defeats to France and the Netherlands.

Lee Carsley is reportedly the association’s number-one choice to take over.

FAI reportedly discussing ending Stephen Kenny’s reign.

According to the Irish Examiner, Kenny is set to leave his role.

The FAI are ‘engineering steps’ to end Kenny’s stint as manager and the change could take place ahead of the October Euro 2024 qualifiers against Greece and Gibraltar. His contract runs until the end of the Euro 2024 campaign.

After losing to France and the Netherlands, Ireland have no chance of qualifying directly for Euro 2024 through the group.

Three teams will qualify for the tournament through the Uefa Nations League playoff, but Ireland only have a small chance of reaching the two-legged playoff next March.

The FAI, faced with two potential dead rubber matches next month, have reportedly decided to act with the team set to miss out on Euro 2024.

The association are said to be wary of having a ‘zombie manager’ in place for the games against Greece and Gibraltar.

So, after 36 games in three and a half years, it appears as though Kenny’s reign is coming to an end.

Lee Carsley is reportedly the FAI’s first choice to be the new Ireland manager.

The Irish Examiner and the Independent are reporting that Carsley is the FAI’s first choice to become the next Ireland manager.

Carsley won 40 caps for Ireland and has been working as England’s Under-21 manager for the last two years. The 49-year-old guided England to the Under-21 European Championships earlier this year.

According to The Independent, the English Football Association will reject any approach for Carsley from the FAI.

When Gareth Southgate leaves the England senior post, Carsley could be in contention for the role.

The former Everton midfielder, however, is employed on a rolling year-to-year contract. So, prising him away from England may be relatively straightforward if the coach is keen on the position with Ireland.

According to the Independent, Rafa Benitez is among the managers who have been discussed for the Ireland job. The former Liverpool and Real Madrid manager, however, would be ‘hugely expensive but potentially open to the job in the future.’

Kieran McKenna, the Northern Irishman currently coaching Ipswich Town, is another name being mentioned, but unlikely to leave his club at this point.

The 37-year-old previously coached at Manchester United under Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

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