Richie Sadlier believes Mick McCarthy is the the most likely candidate to replace Martin O'Neill as Republic of Ireland manager should the latter leave for Stoke City.

Although, he stresses that there is a possibility that the FAI could seek a degree of continuity and elevate Roy Keane to the managerial hot seat instead. 

There were reports in the UK last night that Stoke City offered O'Neill the manager's job after their previous desired candidate Quique Sanchez Flores ruled himself out.

Those same reports indicated that O'Neill wishes to bring Keane with him as his assistant manager. 

Speaking on RTÉ Radio 1Sadlier acknowledged that the FAI might be inclined to offer Keane the job but added that if they were to go further afield, then Mick McCarthy is best placed to succeed O'Neill.    

"We're led to believe they've (O'Neill and Keane) have a very good working relationship and if Martin goes, he wants to bring Roy with him.

"Because neither have publicly commented on this, I don't know how attractive that is to Roy. Whether he wants to be No. 2 at a Premier League club. 

"Or whether he thinks, 'if Martin goes, does that mean I'm next in line? I've been here for four years and somebody somewhere will put the case for some form of continuity.' 

"And he is Roy Keane, he is a huge figure in this country.

"I think, if I had to make a call on it now, I'd be surprised if we go too far beyond Mick McCarthy. 

"He's currently manager of Ipswich. He's been manager of this country before. I think he wants to do it. He's out of contract in the summer.

"I'm led to believe that the Ipswich Town chairman won't stand in his way if he wants the job." 

McCarthy, who managed the Republic of Ireland in 68 matches between 1996 and 2002, has been in charge at Portman Road since November 2012. 

Meanwhile, current Ireland striker Jon Walters told the BBC this morning that he believes O'Neill would be a good choice for Stoke