No Ireland return for Anthony Barry despite talks, as Stephen Rice to stay in FAI role

Anthony Barry will not be returning to Stephen Kenny’s Ireland staff despite holding informal talks with the manager about the possibility.

But it’s understood that Kenny is close to securing the services of another candidate with talks at an advanced stage.

Chief scout and analyst Stephen Rice is also staying put after missing out on the Swindon Town job.

Kenny has remained in regular contact with Barry since he left the Ireland set-up early last year to accept the opportunity to work with Belgium at the World Cup in Qatar.

His role in the Irish set-up was filled by John Eustace, a short-term relationship as the new number three departed after landing the Birmingham City job.

With Roberto Martinez’s tenure as Belgium boss always likely to end after Qatar, the idea of a return for Barry to the Ireland set-up opened up as a possibility.

But after deliberating over his options, the Chelsea coach has decided against it with sources indicating he may have an alternative option to stick with Martinez in his new project as Portugal boss.

FAI CEO Jonathan Hill said at the weekend that Kenny will be bringing in another coach for the Euros campaign, and a February appointment is on the cards barring a hitch.

The Dubliner will not have to look for a replacement for Rice who was given permission to speak to Swindon and interviewed for their manager’s job after making a shortlist.

Swindon are believed to have gone with another candidate with former Crewe boss David Artell the front runner.

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