Mick McCarthy is set to pip old foe Roy Keane to his perfect job – as manager of Keano’s old club Nottingham Forest.
McCarthy will leave his Portuguese holiday home on Monday to fly in for talks with Forest’s new owners.
He is now the red hot favourite to take over as manager at the Championship club with Keane a rank outsider for the job.
Former Ireland boss McCarthy has already spoken to length on the phone to Forest’s new Kuwaiti owners.
The Al Hasawi family, with business interests worth over $5 billion in the Middle East, have already offered him a $40 million budget for new players.
They believe they can land McCarthy as their new boss in face to face meetings on Monday when he flies in from Portugal.
Peterborough boss Darren Ferguson, son of the Manchester United manager Alex, is next in line if McCarthy turns the job down.
But club insiders say McCarthy’s appointment is all but a done deal even if the new owners are trying to dampen speculation.
Family member Abdul Aziz Al Hasawi has admitted that McCarthy’s record in winning promotion to the Premier League with both Sunderland and Wolves is a major advantage.
He has also admitted that the Barnsley born former Irish captain is on the club’s shortlist.
Al Hasawi said: “Mick is one of the candidates, yes. But there are four or five others. If he meets our requirements, then we would be honoured to work with Mick.
“It’s very important the manager must have good knowledge of this league and the teams that are involved in it.
“He must also understand the idea of working with the club, developing it and making it to the Premier League.
“Some of the candidates are in work, some of them do not have a job. We’re looking at the best in the business.”