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Noel King will draft a 40-man preliminary squad ahead of friendlies against Latvia and Poland before the permanent boss is installed

Martin O'Neill is expected to be named as the new Republic of Ireland manager as bookmakers closed the markets on Friday.

A representative from Bet365 confirmed to Goal that betting had been closed on the market for the next Ireland boss, with O'Neill emerging as the likely candidate.

The former Celtic and Aston Villa manager has been one of the frontrunners for the position since Giovanni Trapattoni departed by mutual consent in September and is believed to have met with Football Association of Ireland (FAI) officials Ray Houghton and Ruud Dokter about taking up the role.

Speculation intensified on Thursday night after the FAI confirmed that it would host a friendly fixture against Latvia at the Aviva Stadium on November 15, before taking on Poland on November 19, and bookmakers stopped taking bets shortly after.

Although O'Neill is expected to be appointed, Noel King, who temporarily managed the team in October against Germany and Kazakhstan, has been tasked with the selection of a 40-man preliminary squad for the friendly double-header.

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