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Is a title challenge possible for Man Utd?

Manchester United
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Trapattoni signs new Ireland deal

Republic of Ireland coach Giovanni Trapattoni has signed a new contract that will see him continue at the helm until the 2012 European Championships.

One of the elder statesmen of the game, Trapattoni, 70, has helped steer Ireland to second place behind Italy in World Cup qualification Group 8, with his team on the brink of securing a place in the qualification play-off.

The Football Association of Ireland (FAI) revealed the new deal and the Italian admitted he is excited about the prospect of continuing the progress his side have made since his appointment in 2008.

"I am delighted to continue my job with the FAI," Trapattoni said. "This squad has huge potential. Our results demonstrate what self belief and structure can achieve and I am really looking forward to continuing the work we have begun.''

Trapattoni boasts a bulging trophy cabinet after a hugely successful club management career. He won the Scudetto six times with Juventus and also coached European heavyweights Bayern Munich, as well as both Milan clubs and the Italian national team.

The veteran has impressed as Ireland boss, guiding his side through an unbeaten campaign up to now, with four wins and four draws, including a valuable draw away to his native Azzurri.

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