Donal Lenihan believes England are wasting their time trying to lure Andy Farrell back into their coaching set-up, and tipped the 43-year-old to eventually replace Joe Schmidt in the Ireland hot seat.
A report in the Daily Mail on Wednesday claimed that England are due to announce that former All Blacks coach John Mitchell will replace Gustard, who left for Harlequins, in Eddie Jones’ backroom team.
However, Mitchell only got the job after Farrell turned it down.
Farrell, who is contracted with the IRFU until 2020, was with England when Stuart Lancaster was the head coach. He was also in the Lions camp for the winning tour of Australia in 2013 and the drawn series with New Zealand in 2017.
Lenihan, speaking on RTÉ 2fm's Game On, said an attempt to bring him back to his homeland "smacked a little bit of desperation".
"There's no doubt Andy Farrell has proved himself time and time again," he said.
"The last two Lions tours specifically, where he's been dealing with players from the four different unions, you'd rarely come across anyone who'd have a bad word to say about him and they'd have huge respect for him.
"I thought it smacked a little bit of desperation of England - if those reports are true - coming after Andy Farrell. I mean why would he want to leave Ireland 12 months out from a World Cup, given that he's very much an integral part of a seasoned and established management team?
"But also, if and when Joe Schmidt steps down at the end of he World Cup or the 2019/20 season, Andy must be a front runner for the head coach job in Ireland.
"England, I don't think, with the exception of money, they can't offer him anything that he's not getting here in Ireland at the moment."