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Arsenal can lay down a marker

Arsenal
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McCarthy in line for Ipswich job

Mick McCarthy looks set to be named as the new Ipswich Town manager, according to ESPN sources.

The Irishman has been out of work since losing his job at Wolves last February and is believed to have held successful talks with Portman Road chiefs ahead of his return to the game.

Terry O'Conner is expected to join Ipswich as McCarthy's assistant, reviving the partnership the duo enjoyed at Wolves as Ipswich chiefs look to replace the sacked Paul Jewell with a manager boasting a proven track record at Championship level.

McCarthy, 53, has led all of the three clubs he has managed to the Championship play-offs and won promotion as champions with Sunderland and Wolves, yet he faces a fight to revive Ipswich after a disastrous start to the season has left them five points from safety at the bottom of the table.

The appointment comes just two weeks after McCarthy was heavily linked with a return as Republic of Ireland manager, a post he previously held between 1996 and 2002.

However, the Football Association of Ireland's decision to stand by manager Giovanni Trapattoni closed that door for now, even though there is a possibility that a vacancy could arise once more if Trapattoni fails to get the results he needs in World Cup qualifiers against Sweden and Austria in March.

McCarthy's desire to return to the Ireland post will now have to be put on the back-burner as he prepares to follow in the footsteps of his old nemesis Roy Keane by filling the managerial hot-seat once held by the former midfielder who was thrown out of his Ireland squad in infamous fashion at the 2002 World Cup finals.

The career paths of the two men have been closely linked in the years since their fall-out, with Keane succeeding McCarthy as Sunderland boss back in 2006 and now the latter set to take up the Ipswich post a little under two years after it was vacated by the former Manchester United and Republic of Ireland captain.

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