Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes admits he is interested in becoming Scotland head coach – just not yet.
The Scottish FA is having to start its search for Gordon Strachan’s replacement from scratch after failing to lure Northern Ireland boss Michael O’Neill.
McInnes has been quoted among the leading contenders by bookmakers following the impressive job he has carried out at Pittodrie. But while the Dons boss – who has knocked back offers from Sunderland and Rangers in recent months – says he would one day like to take on the national team, he insists he is happy to stay put for now.
“You all know how happy I am at Aberdeen,” he said. “There are certain jobs you would like to do in the future and Scotland would be one of those.
“But for now, whether I’m a candidate or not in certain people’s thinking, the job in hand at Aberdeen is what is important.”
Scotland have been without a manager since Strachan was axed back in mid-October and the SFA delegation will now travel to Lausanne for today’s Uefa Nations League draw without a boss in place.
Strachan himself entered the debate yesterday when he said that he would prefer a Scotsman to succeed him.
Asked on talkSPORT if it had to be a Scot to run the national team, Strachan said: “I think every national team, unless you are an up-and-coming nation… it is meant to be a Scotland team so Scotland players, a Scotland coach, I prefer it that way.
“Same with England, same with Ireland, Wales as well, that is your national team so that’s the way I would go, unless you are a country that is developing in football that you need a coach to help you along.”
Strachan, who admitted his departure from Scotland “is still raw, it still hurts”, was not totally surprised by O’Neill’s decision to stay put.
“There was a lot to be thinking about, a lot to be done – he lives in Scotland and he could have been swayed by emotion – but he has had a look at it and for whatever reason, I don’t know, he has decided to stay with a group of people that he has worked very well with for the last five years, he knows the people there.
“Sometimes you get so long to think, there is so many things come into your thinking and you think well, it seems like a good idea at a time but the longer you have to think of it you think maybe it is not such a good idea.”