Michael O’Neill: Northern Ireland manager set for talks over Scotland job

Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill guided his country to the finals of a major international tournament for the first time in 30 years

The Scottish FA will hold talks with Northern Ireland boss Michael O’Neill with a view to him becoming the new Scotland manager.

The 48-year-old has been the SFA’s preferred candidate since Gordon Strachan’s departure in October.

Negotiations have been ongoing between the governing body and O’Neill’s representatives for some time.

But after a compensation package was agreed with the Irish FA, face to face talks are now likely next week.

O’Neill has been offered a four-year extension to the two years left on his Northern Ireland contract, and wants his future resolved by the end of January.

The SFA made an official approach for permission to speak to O’Neill in November and the former Brechin City and Shamrock Rovers boss’ existing contract to 2020 is believed to be worth £500,000 a year.

Both Sunderland and West Bromwich Albion were granted permission to speak to him about their recent managerial vacancies.

Neither Northern Ireland nor Scotland have a competitive fixture until Uefa’s Nations League kicks off in September.

There are potential friendly dates in the international calendar in March and June, though, while the draw for the Nations League takes place on 24 January.

O’Neill has been in charge of Northern Ireland for six years, guiding them to Euro 2016 – their first major finals for 30 years – but just missing out on World Cup 2018 qualification.

He steered them to second place behind Germany in a World Cup qualifying group that included the Czech Republic and Norway, only to lose out on a place at the finals in Russia after a 1-0 aggregate loss to Switzerland in a play-off.

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