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John Aldridge and Joe Kinnear are the first two managers to signal their interest in succeeding Mick McCarthy as coach of the Republic of Ireland.

Aldridge, the former Tranmere mmanager, who played for Ireland in the 1990 and 1994 World Cup finals, has been installed as the favourite with bookmakers.

‘I’d certainly take if it came my way again,’ he admitted when quizzed about post.

‘I’ve always stated that I would be delighted to manage my country and it is a fantastic job for anyone to be associated with.

‘There will be a lot of good managers put their name forward so we will have to wait and see. ‘I know all the lads very well indeed but I don’t really want to push myself forward and plug myself now – I’ll do it in the right manner when the time is right.’

Meanwhile, former Leeds boss David O’Leary has ruled himself out of the running claiming the vacancy has come too early in his managerial career.

‘I want to manage my country, but if I was asked now then I think I would have to decline because I want to get back into mainstream, day-to-day management with a football club itself,’ said O’Leary.

‘When I have that out of my system I hope the FAI (Football Association of Ireland) will come and ask me then. That’s not for many years to come, but I would like to finish my management career off by managing the national team.’

Joe Kinnear, manager of Second Division Luton Town turned down the chance to manage the international team after Jack Charlton’s resignation, while he was still in charge of Wimbledon.

‘It’s one of the top jobs in international football,’ said Kinnear.

Another candidate believed to be interested in the vacancy, is former Wales and Real Madrid boss John Toshack.

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