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Brady's Gunners exit paves way for Ireland bid

DENNIS BERGKAMP could be the man to replace Liam Brady when he walks away from his beloved Arsenal in May 2014.

But Brady's decision to leave the Arsenal Academy after 17 years in charge would allow him to make a bold bid to succeed Giovanni Trapattoni.

The timing of Brady's quit notice sits nicely with the end of Trapattoni's deal with the FAI, although all bets are off if results are poor against Sweden and Austria in March.

Brady was appointed head of Arsenal's youth development in 1996, the same year that Arsene Wenger became manager, but has told the club of his intention to stand down in May 2014, at which point he will have spent 25 years with the club as a player and coach.

Arsenal still want Brady to remain at the club in a consultancy role and he will also be involved in the search for his successor.

The early favourite for the position is Bergkamp, another legendary figure at Arsenal for his feats as a player there.

Bergkamp has also made an impressive start to his own coaching career during five years at Ajax. Having managed the side's celebrated U19 team, Bergkamp has risen to the role of assistant to manager Frank de Boer.

In an interview this month, Bergkamp outlined his desire to eventually work at Arsenal, although he did also stress that he was keen not to leave Ajax prematurely. The timeframe, then, of potentially taking over from Brady in the summer of 2014 could be appealing.

Asked if he would consider a coaching job at Arsenal, Bergkamp said: "I would, yes. We have started something good now at Ajax. If I could fulfill a similar role abroad, especially at Arsenal, that would be one of the things that I would like to achieve in the future."

Arsenal will not rush their search for Brady's successor, with the position regarded among the most important at the club.

Arsenal have won three FA Youth Cup titles since 1996 as well as back-to-back academy Premier League titles in 2009 and 2010.

"Liam has a deep understanding of what it takes to discover and develop a talented youngster into someone who can perform at the highest level," said Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis.