Michael O'Neill open to holding talks over Scotland job

Michael O'Neill is understood to be amenable to talking to the Scottish FA about succeeding Gordon Strachan.

Michael O'Neill shouts instructions during the World Cup Qualifier Play-Off between Northern Ireland and Switzerland. Picture: Getty Images
Michael O'Neill shouts instructions during the World Cup Qualifier Play-Off between Northern Ireland and Switzerland. Picture: Getty Images

O’Neill, who narrowly failed to steer Northern Ireland to the World Cup finals, has emerged as the preferred candidate to become the next Scotland manager.

The former Hibs and Dundee United midfielder, who lives in Edinburgh, has built up an impressive reputation by guiding Northern Ireland to the finals of Euro 2016 and to the play-offs for the 2018 World Cup finals, where they lost 
narrowly to Switzerland.

The Scottish FA is desperate to end the national side’s now 20-year absence from a major finals. With Hampden due to stage four matches at Euro 2020 when the tournament is spread around 13 European cities, the importance of Scotland qualifying has assumed critical proportions for Stewart Regan, the SFA’s chief executive.

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It has been suggested that O’Neill will be offered a four-year deal worth potentially £1 million per year with bonuses. The additional payments would be linked to Scotland qualifying for major tournaments.

The United States are also keen on O’Neill but it is believed he would prefer to remain in Scotland.