Michael O'Neill: SFA to hold further talks with Irish FA over boss search

Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill
O'Neill spent much of his playing career in Scotland and lives in Edinburgh

The Scottish FA is to hold further discussions with the Irish FA as they continue their attempts to appoint Michael O'Neill as Scotland manager.

An SFA sub-committee set up to secure a successor to Gordon Strachan gave an update on its progress on Thursday.

The Irish FA has offered O'Neill a four-year contract extension to his existing deal which would keep him in the Northern Ireland job until 2024.

O'Neill has also been linked with the USA national job and the Rangers post.

The former Brechin City and Shamrock Rovers boss has been in charge of Northern Ireland for six years.

He led them to Euro 2016 - their first major finals since the 1986 World Cup - but they missed out on World Cup qualification in the play-offs.

Northern Ireland are 24th in the Fifa rankings, eight places above Scotland.

A graphic of Michael O'Neill's record in charge of Northern Ireland
O'Neill's overall record in charge of Northern Ireland

Strachan left the Scotland job in October following the team's failure to reach the World Cup play-offs.

SFA performance director Malky Mackay took charge for a friendly defeat by the Netherlands last month, but chief executive Stewart Regan has ruled him out of the running to succeed Strachan on a long-term basis.

Scotland have not been to a major tournament since the 1998 World Cup.

Their next match is likely to be in March, with talks taking place over a friendly in Morocco, but they do not have a competitive fixture until next autumn.

Under Strachan, Scotland were unbeaten in their final six qualifying matches but finished third behind group winners England and Slovakia.

Michael O'Neill fact-file
Born 5 July 1969
Began career with Coleraine in Irish League, before joining Newcastle United
Played as a midfielder and forward during a 20-year playing career
Among the clubs he played for were Dundee United, Hibernian, Coventry City, Wigan Athletic and St Johnstone
Made 31 appearances for Northern Ireland, scoring four goals
Was in charge of Brechin City and Shamrock Rovers before being appointed Northern Ireland boss in December 2011

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