SFA set for talks with main target Michael O’Neill for Scotland job

Michael O'Neill
BASEL, SWITZERLAND - NOVEMBER 12: Coach of Northern Ireland Michael O'Neill answers to the media following the FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifier Play-Off: Second Leg between Switzerland and Northern Ireland at St. Jakob-Park stadium on November 12, 2017 in Basel, Basel-Stadt, Switzerland. (Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)

Current Northern Ireland Manager Michael O’Neill is seen as the favourite for the Scotland job. As BBC Sport reports, talks will now begin with the 48-year-old over the vacant manager’s position.

SFA Set for Talks with Main Target Michael O’Neill for Scotland Job

After Gordon Strachan chose to leave his post as the Scotland national team manager in October, Scottish Football Association chiefs have finally approached their main target for Strachan’s successor.

Negotiations between the SFA and O’Neill’s representatives have been ongoing since November. A compensation package has now been agreed.

However, despite the SFA’s strong interest, O’Neill’s current employers, the Irish FA, are keen to retain their man. This is no surprise after he guided them to the European Championships in 2016. That was the first major international finals in 30 years for Northern Ireland.

His side also reached the play-off rounds before just missing out on a place in the World Cup this year. Defeat to Switzerland courtesy of a poor handball decision going against them ended their hopes this time.

About O’Neill

The former Shamrock Rovers and Brechin manager is currently under contract with Northern Ireland until 2020 but wants any decision on his future to be decided this month. His existing contract is believed to be worth around £500,000.

The Northern Irishman was approached by Sunderland and West Brown over previous managerial vacancies but seems set to remain in the international fold.

O’Neill experienced six years in charge of the Northern Irish National team. He was involved in a total of 53 games achieving 18 wins, 15 draws and 20 losses. After great recent success with a similar size of country and footballing talent, O’Neill could be seen as an almost perfect match the Scots.

In Terms of Scotland

The National side do not play competitively until September when the newly formed UEFA Nations League kicks off.

If they do get their man he will have a tough task on his hands to finally get Scotland back to a major tournament. The last one was way back in 1998 at the World Cup in France. However, O’Neill will look to take inspiration from his previous success in international management. Also, the success of Iceland, a country with a population far less than Scotland, who are now thriving in international competition.

There is hope for the Tartan Army with young stars like Kieran Tierney, who recently captained the side against Holland. Also other talents like John McGinn, Ryan Christie and Andrew Robertson, players who paint a brighter picture for the future.

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