Former Japan coach Philippe Troussier says he has been approached by the Republic of Ireland with a view to succeeding Mick McCarthy as coach of the national team.

Troussier, who led Japan to the secondround in last summer’s World Cup finals, said he had received several approaches since the finals, but was in no hurry to retunrn to management.

The Frenchman is presently recovering from an operation on a knee and was waiting to complete his rehabilitation before considering his future.

‘I have been approached by five or six national teams and Ireland is one of them. After Japan, I think I should be careful about selecting the next team that I manage.

‘Right now, I want to focus on my rehabilitation and forget about football for now.

‘When I finish my treatment in France, I will go back to my house in Morocco and should come to a decision in January.’

Ireland are without a manager after McCarthy resigned as Republic manager last month following his side’s Euro 2004 qualifying defeats against Russia and Switzerland.