It is believed that Gerard Houllier, who was hot favourite for the post last week, has tipped Jean Tigana as the man to manage Ireland to the country’s Football Association.

The former Fulham boss was trading as second-favourite with the bookmakers on Sunday evening, with compatriot Houllier having eased out considerably in the betting.

Last week, Don Givens admitted that the team tasked with suggesting a new boss still had “three or four” candidates to meet. Though Houllier and Terry Venables had been leading the race, the interviewers were also to meet Lawrie Sanchez, Billy Davies and Sam Allardyce – all three of whom were sacked as Premiership bosses this season.

Now Tigana may also get the chance to meet Givens, Don Howe and Ray Houghton, after Houllier reportedly recommended him to the FAI.

It is understood that Houllier, 60, is happy to continue working for the French Football Federation, which pays him a higher salary than what he would earn as Irisih boss.

Venables remains firm favourite for the post, despite some opposition on the FAI’s board of management.