The Independent’s Jason Burt reports that former England manager Terry Venables is the front runner for the currently vacant Republic Of Ireland job.

The Irish are not due to play again until 1 March and, although no opponent has so far been scheduled, there have been preliminary discussions over a fixture with England.

The FAI wants a successor to Brian Kerr, who did not have his contract renewed after failing to qualify for next year’s World Cup. However, it is thought that it favours a high-profile name such as Venables.

It may be that someone like Venables, now 65, is appointed in tandem with a former player who can be groomed as his successor. Steve Staunton or Niall Quinn might fit the bill.

Venables, whose brief tenure as a Saturday afternoon pundit for Virgin Radio included the unfortunate title “The Godfather Of Football”, has a long history of club and international success, along with a fun-filled business c.v. that might’ve played a role in his departure from the England post, to say nothing of his role in the Crystal Palace’s financial misery.