STEVE BRUCE is being tipped for a shock return to football management with the Republic of Ireland.
The former Newcastle boss is out of work after being sacked by West Brom in the Championship almost a year ago.
Now the former Manchester United defender is the bookies' favourite for the job across the Irish sea.
Stephen Kenny is currently the man in charge of The Boys in Green.
But pressure is mounting on him as Ireland's hopes of qualifying for Euro 2024 have been crushed.
Ireland have suffered four defeats out of five games in Group B, losing to Greece, Holland and twice to France.
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Their only victory was a 3-0 win over minnows Gibraltar in June.
Englishman Bruce would be a shock contender for the job.
England U-21 boss Lee Carsley, who played 40 times for Ireland, is also among the favourites, according to Betfair, along with Chris Houghton, Neil Lennon, Anthony Barry, Keiran McKenna and Roy Keane.
Bruce, 62, was appointed Newcastle boss in July 2019 under Mike Ashley's ownership.
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He went on to win just over a quarter of his games in charge as Toon struggled towards the bottom of the table.
He left amid fan protests in October 2021, with an £8million pay-off, before taking over at West Brom the following February.
But Bruce's time with the Baggies was a disaster, taking them from 6th to 22nd in the Championship in just eight months.
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