New Ireland boss could face Germany
The new Ireland manager could face a baptism of fire in Germany.
Football Association of Ireland chief executive John Delaney has admitted that, in an ideal world, he would like to have Giovanni Trapattoni's replacement in place in time for next month's World Cup qualifiers against Group C leaders Germany - who won 6-1 at the Aviva Stadium in October last year - and Kazakhstan.
Delaney told Sky Sports News: "Ideally it would be nice to have a manager in place for the games in October, but that's not a must because it's 12 months until we play our first European qualifiers in September.
"It's important that we get the right man in so we qualify for France 2016."
Martin O'Neill remains the overwhelming bookmakers' favourite with one bookmaker offering odds of 4/7 for his appointment.
It is understood the 61-year-old Ulsterman, who has been out of work since being sacked by Sunderland in March, is open to an approach, while former Ireland manager Mick McCarthy, currently in charge at Ipswich, has not distanced himself from speculation linking him to the vacancy.
However, Norwich boss Chris Hughton and Leeds counterpart Brian McDermott, who were both mentioned - along with O'Neill, McCarthy and Roy Keane - by Delaney as prospective candidates in a radio interview on Wednesday, have ruled themselves out.
The Keane camp was remaining tight-lipped on Thursday, and Delaney would not be drawn on his chances of being appointed after his infamous departure from Saipan in 2002.
Delaney said: "It would be an interesting appointment, but it's probably inappropriate for me to comment on individuals because if I start talking about one being ruled in or ruled out, that wouldn't be correct for me.
"We are going to get a new manager and that manager's objectives will be to get us to the European Championship in 2016.
"Football, as we all know, tends to surprise us, but I wouldn't read anything in to someone being a favourite or not being a favourite."
Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert believes O'Neill is an ideal candidate.
He said: "There's no doubt about it, he could do the job standing on his head. No problem.
"I've always said he's a fantastic manager and it would be up to him whether he'd want to go into international football or go back to club football. I don't know but whoever takes him has got a great manager."