Martin O’Neill is now red-hot 2/5 favourite to become the next Leicester City manager after revelations from his current employers.
Although the Football Association of Ireland have officially denied it is the case, sources of the Guardian newspaper have suggested the organisation will not stand in his way if he wishes to leave the Republic of Ireland job to answer the Foxes’ call.
During a glorious spell at the club between 1995 and 2000, the Ulsterman won promotion to the Premier League, two League Cups and led the team into Europe on two occasions before leaving for Celtic.
He would doubtless return to the club with a hero’s welcome, but is turning once more to the now 63-year-old fan favourite really the answer 15 years on?
The answer is…probably not.
O’Neill’s last successful foray into club management in the English top flight was five years ago at Aston Villa, whom he came close to leading to the Champions League in 2008/09.
However, having left them in a row over transfer fees in August of the following year, the frivolity of his recruitment strategy has hamstrung the Villans ever since.
There was little choice but to enact a risky austerity policy that put the organisation, burdened thanks to his legacy of average senior players on big contracts with little or no sell on value, at risk of relegation.
At Sunderland a spell of initial success, in keeping with a gifted motivator, soon relented and he was sacked in March 2013 with the club once more threatened by the drop.
In his sole summer at the Stadium of Light he had once again shown abject instincts in the transfer market, frittering away £32.8m on Adam Johnson, Steven Fletcher, Alfred N’Diaye and Danny Graham.
After leaving the Wearsiders he answered Ireland’s call, but has masterminded only five wins in 16 matches to date including being tactically outdone by Gordon Strachan in their Euro 2016 qualifying clashes with Scotland.
Surely there must be a younger, hungrier manager out there for Leicester, without the dodgy transfer baggage and lack of recent club success?