Jewell holds informal talks with Giles over Republic job

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The Independent Online

Paul Jewell yesterday held talks with Johnny Giles, one of the Football Association of Ireland's recently selected recruitment figures, regarding the replacement of Steve Staunton as manager of the Republic of Ireland.

The meeting took place at a hotel near Manchester and is understood to have been positive for both men. Jewell said: "Johnny Giles asked to see me and I went to meet him. We had a great chat about football in general and of course he mentioned the Irish job situation, but it wasn't an interview.

"I'm flattered by the interest and I'm certainly not ruling it out. I am thinking about it and we'll see if anything develops."

Having put out feelers to Jewell over a fortnight ago, the FAI wanted to hear in person if his determination to get back into football at club level could be overcome. Giles' appearance made an impression. Jewell's preference would be a return to day-to-day management, however, and three clubs are showing interest.

One of those clubs is Preston North End, who dismissed Paul Simpson this week. It is believed Preston have asked to speak to Jewell. The 43-year-old said: "I have not heard from Preston. But Preston is a fantastic club and I would never say no to speaking to anyone.

"It's all right being mentioned for jobs such as the one at Preston but you have to be offered it. I don't take much notice of what has been said. It doesn't have much significance unless the chairman makes that phone call. I would like to work in the Premier League, yes, but I am not ruling myself out of any job."

Jewell's former club, Wigan, were still waiting yesterday afternoon, meanwhile, to learn whether Birmingham City will grant them permission to speak to their manager, Steve Bruce.

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