The Scottish FA have been granted permission by their Northern Irish counterparts to speak with Michael O’Neill.
SFA chief executive Stewart Regan contacted his Irish FA head Patrick Nelson earlier in the week morning to request permission with the head coach about replacing Gordon Strachan.
The IFA wish to hold onto the man who led them to the Euro 2016 finals but may be unable to match the near £1million-a-year salary the SFA are understood to offering.
The SFA have clearly identified the 48-year-old as their preferred candidate.
Sunderland were also interested in the ex-Dundee United and Hibs winger but were rebuffed in their attempts.
Rangers have also been credited with an interest in O’Neill as they look for their next permanent boss following the sacking of Pedro Caixinha last month, though O’Neill is not thought to be top of their list.