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The Ipswich Town manager would not be drawn on speculation linking him with a return to the Republic of Ireland job

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy has been heavily linked with the vacant managerial position at the Republic of Ireland, and the former Boys in Green captain has not ruled out a return to his former job.

Martin O'Neill had been the bookies' favourite to take over following the dismissal of Giovanni Trapattoni, but speculation is growing that McCarthy will return to the role he held between 1996 and 2002. The 54-year-old was coy about the rumours when asked had he been approached by the Football Asociation of Ireland. “No, I haven’t” McCarthy told the Daily Mirror. “If somebody ever asks me the question as to what I’ll do, I’ll tell them.

“I think anybody who wants to ask me the question should ask [Ipswich chairman] Marcus Evans the question first because I’m under contract here. I can’t help it but I just concentrate on my job and whatever will be, will be.”

A number of senior Ireland players have given their backing to the appointment of McCarthy, with both Richard Dunne and Robbie Keane praising the former defender. However, Ipswich Town midfielder Ryan Tuncliffe is hoping that McCarthy stays at Portman Road. “We don’t really talk about it that much here, but there’s no wonder there’s interest in him as he’s a great manager,” Tuncliffe said. “The main reason I came here was the gaffer, because I wanted to work with him.

“He’s a top class manager but we’ll just have to wait and see what happens.”

The Boys in Green face Poland in a friendly on November 19, but the FAI hope to have an update on the appointment of a new manager before the trip to Poznan.