Giovanni Trapattoni could walk out on Ireland ahead of the European Championship finals – even if he gets his team to Poland and the Ukraine next summer.
Trapattoni has confirmed to Irish Central Sport that his current contract expires next April and he has threatened to quit if he is not offered a new long term deal.
The 73-year-old has even warned that he could move on before the Euro finals if Ireland overcomes Estonia in next month’s play-offs.
The FAI have told us that Trapattoni’s contract includes an extension ‘option’ if Ireland qualify for the finals. FAI sources have also confirmed that they will not discuss a new deal with the Italian before next month’s play-offs.
But Trap made it abundantly clear that he wants to sign a new two year deal to take him up to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil before he will continue past his current April deadline.
Speaking via his interpreter, Trapattoni insisted: “We can qualify and go to the tournament when the contract automatically extends and we do the tournament.
“Or we can qualify and say, ok if there is no extension then our job is done.”
The Ireland boss added: “After we achieve qualification, we can also say our jobs is done, thank you very much. This is not arrogant.
“Our job is not finished. There are two or three young players we want to work with, if we have the opportunity to continue for another campaign.”
Trapattoni’s warning to the FAI will come as a bombshell to the Irish fans anxiously awaiting the Euro play-offs against Estonia.
FAI boss John Delaney has repeatedly stated that no contract talks will begin with Trapattoni before Ireland’s play-off fate is known.
Some FAI sources are angry however that the Italian now appears to be holding a gun to their heads and demanding a new deal before the Euro finals.
But Trapattoni has also warned of the need to be cautious about Ireland’s play-off hopes against an Estonian team that lost to Brian Kerr’s Faro Islands minnows in the qualifiers but beat both Serbia and Slovenia.
“Luck has nothing to do with drawing Estonia, we have a tough job ahead of us and we will take nothing for granted,” claimed Trapattoni.
“I have already spoken to my colleague, the Italian manager Cesare Prandelli. He has told me that they are a formidable team.
“Statistics from the qualifiers will count for nothing in this play-off. This will be a battle between two teams who have every right to be there.
“These matches will be like Cup finals and anything can happen. The small advantage we do have is that the second leg is at home.
“But let us not delude ourselves. We are not Brazil and this is a team which has beaten Slovenia and Serbia and caused considerable difficulties for Italy. It will not be easy.”