THE FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION are allegedly bracing themselves for an approach from the Republic of Ireland for Lee Carsley.
The 49-year-old former Everton Premier League midfielder won 40 caps for the Irish during his playing days after qualifying through his grandmother, who is from County Cork.
Since hanging up his boots, the Birmingham born-and-bred star has continued his coaching journey that began when he started taking his badges while still a player.
Carsley worked for the likes of Coventry City, Sheffield United and Manchester City’s academies as well as being part of England’s youth set-up.
Then, having initially been England Under-20 head coach, he stepped up to the U21s in July 2021 and embarked on a stunning two-year journey through qualification to glory.
Carsley’s Young Lions beat Spain 1-0 in July to be crowned European U21 champions, their first title in the competition since 1984.
They begin the defence of that crown tonight against Luxembourg, but anxiety is mounting among Wembley and St. George’s Park corridors over a potential attempt to lure him away.
Kenny, 51, is under mounting pressure after their Euro 2024 suffered a huge blow last night with a 2-1 home loss against the Netherlands.
They now need to win all three of their remaining qualifiers and hope that the Dutch fail to collect another point from their games to get there automatically.
But even earning a play-off spot is looking increasingly unlikely as they trail second-placed Greece by six points.
Kenny, who moved up from U21 manager to the senior side in 2019, and his team face the Greeks in a must-win showdown next month before finishing their group games with clashes against Gibraltar and Holland.
And failure to qualify could lead to the Irish axing him and searching for a replacement – with Carsley, who is only on a one-year rolling contract with the FA, appearing to be near the top of their list.