Trapattoni to take over as Ireland manager

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Giovanni Trapattoni is set to become Ireland manager once his contract with Salzburg ends in May after agreeing in principle to a deal, the Irish Examiner reported yesterday.

A spokesman for the Irish FA (FAI) declined to comment on the report.

He said the three-man panel appointed by the FAI to find a manager would make a recommendation for the position to the board later this week. A Salzburg spokesman declined to comment.

Former manager Steve Staunton's contract was terminated in October after Ireland failed to qualify for Euro 2008 and the FAI has faced criticism over the protracted process to find a successor.

The Irish Examiner, without citing any sources, reported that former Italy coach Trapattoni met on Sunday evening in Austria with the panel, known as the "three wise men" and headed by Ireland's caretaker coach Don Givens.

It said the FAI's chief executive John Delaney would fly out to meet with Trapattoni's representatives and agree a contract.

The Irish Independent reported that barring a hitch, Trapattoni would be confirmed as manager by the end of the week with the FAI prepared to pay up to 2 million euros ($2.91 million) a year to secure his services.

Givens told the FAI on Feb. 3 the work of the panel would be completed within 10 days with an appointment "imminent".