Ireland and the UK's chances of hosting Euro 2028 appear to have improved significantly after UEFA confirmed Turkey and Italy had requested to merge their bids for Euro 2032.

It is understood Turkey have not withdrawn their bid to host Euro 2028, so remain a rival to the five-nation bid involving England, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Turkey and Italy had been going head to head to host Euro 2032, but are now seeking to bid together.

UEFA said in a statement: "UEFA confirms that it has received today a request from the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) and the Turkish Football Federation (TFF) to merge their individual bids into one joint bid to host UEFA EURO 2032.

"UEFA will now work with FIGC and TFF to ensure that the documentation to be submitted for their joint bid is compliant with the bidding requirements."

UEFA is expected to make a decision on whether the joint bid is compliant well in advance of October 10, when the UEFA executive committee will decide who will host Euro 2028 and Euro 2032.

In April, Aviva Stadium and the still unbuilt Casement Park in Belfast were listed among 10 confirmed venues for the combined Irish and UK bid.

An FAI spokesperson told RTÉ Sport they are aware of the UEFA announcement.

"We have a very strong bid and look forward to presenting it to UEFA on 10 October as planned. As a bidding partnership, our focus is to host an outstanding UEFA EURO 2028 that delivers great benefits for our nations and communities, and for football at home and across Europe."

The other eight stadia are Wembley, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, the Etihad Stadium, Everton's new Bramley-Moore Dock Stadium, Villa Park and St James’ Park in England, Hampden Park in Scotland and the Cardiff National Stadium in Wales.

The bid has political support in all five nations , with a joint statement on behalf of the nations’ leaders in April saying they would be "honoured" to deliver the tournament.

The Italian federation said the decision to bid jointly with Turkey had been reached following a "complex and fruitful consultation process".

In a statement, they highlighted that joint bids for previous tournaments – and for future tournaments such as the UK and Ireland’s bid for Euro 2028 – "show that sharing events of this magnitude represents, on the one hand, a route for the direct involvement of a higher number of fans and, on the other, the search for an even more efficient and sustainable design."

FIGC president Gabriele Gravina said: "We are facing a historic turning point that aims to enhance continental football. Football wants to be an ideal bridge for sharing passions and emotions related to sport."

The FIGC said that if the joint bid was deemed compliant, a decision on host venues would be postponed.