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 Monday, 2 December, 2002, 14:39 GMT
Irish move for Troussier
Philippe Troussier with Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi
Troussier was a hero in Japan after the World Cup

Philippe Troussier has confirmed that the Republic of Ireland have approached him about becoming their next coach.

But the Frenchman - who led Japan at the World Cup finals - insisted he will not rush into making a decision.

"I have been approached by five or six national teams and Ireland is one of them," Troussier told BBC Sport Online.

After Japan, I think I should be careful about selecting the next team that I manage

Phillipe Troussier

Troussier recently had surgery for a knee problem and is currently getting physiotherapy in Biarritz, France.

"Right now, I want to focus on my rehabilitation and forget about football for now," Troussier said.

"After Japan, I think I should be careful about selecting the next team that I manage.

"When I finish my treatment in France, I will go back to my house in Morocco and should come to a decision in January."

Popularly known by his admirers as The White Witchdoctor, Troussier began his international managerial career in Africa.

He managed the Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso and Nigeria - whom he successfully piloted through the 1998 World Cup African qualification series but was sacked before the finals.

Troussier subsequently led South Africa at the 1998 World Cup in France but his stern methods resulted in some player unrest, before becoming manager of Japan.

However, FAI media spokesman Brendan McKenna, said that any approach was news to him.

''As far as I know, there has been no approach made,'' said McKenna.

''I would find it highly unlikely a move has been made since a committee to look into the future only met last Friday.''

Mick McCarthy resigns as coach of the Republic of Ireland

Ireland in limbo

Analysis

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Ireland's World Cup

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02 Dec 02 | Republic of Ireland
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