Phil Hay in the YEP reports that; In a move which is understood to have angered United’s hierarchy, McDermott was identified as a possible successor to the departing Giovanni Trapattoni by the Football Association of Ireland’s chief executive, John Delaney.
Delaney included McDermott in a list of potential replacements for Trapattoni during a radio interview yesterday, conducted shortly after the FAI parted company with their Italian coach in the wake of 1-0 defeat to Austria.
McDermott, who is exactly five months into his job as Leeds manager and has more than two-and-a-half years left on his contract at Elland Road, was expected to respond to the comments at a pre-match conference at Thorp Arch this morning, staged ahead of United’s visit to Bolton Wanderers on Saturday.
The 52-year-old is likely to distance himself from the international post, despite admitting last year that managing the Republic was “a goal of mine” and a “long-held ambition”.
Leeds are ready to resist approaches for McDermott having handed him a long-term deal in April. The former Reading boss is seen as an integral part of the plans of club owner GFH Capital having come to United in place of the sacked Neil Warnock.
Martin O’Neill is an early favourite to replace Trapattoni but Delaney’s remarks highlighted McDermott as a credible alternative and FAI officials will gather in the days ahead to begin discussing a successor to the sacked Italian.
Delaney said: “The board will meet within the next week or so to determine the process.
“There’ll be plenty of interest and it’ll be interesting to see who puts themselves forward.
“Mick McCarthy, Brian McDermott, Chris Hughton, Roy Keane, Martin O’Neill – all of those names would come into the pot.
“I wouldn’t, however, want to comment on any individual’s chances at this stage.”
Leeds have not responded to Delaney’s comments but the club are thought to be privately unhappy about what they see as a lack of respect from the FAI’s chief executive in naming McDermott as a contender.
McDermott’s interest in the role was made apparent 12 months ago when he spoke of his regret in representing England as a player at youth level and denying himself the chance to play for the Republic’s senior squad.
“Ever since then it’s been a goal of mine to manage Ireland,” he said. “It was an error on my part to (represent) England and I’ve told my friends that.
“You have career paths in life – and I’m determined to realise my long-hold ambition.”