IFA deny job offer claims
Irish Football Association chief executive Patrick Nelson has denied that Swansea boss Brendan Rodgers was offered the Northern Ireland job on a part-time basis.
Rodgers said on Thursday an official approach had been made by the IFA to Swans chairman Huw Jenkins which he had turned down to focus on his club role.
Nelson said no formal approach had been made for Rodgers although, despite some senior figures in the association insisting Nigel Worthington's replacement must be full-time, he appeared to suggest a part-time role was a possibility. He told the Belfast Telegraph: "I won't talk about individuals but what I can tell you is that nobody has been offered the job."
He continued: "(Whether the manager should be full-time) is a difficult one to answer because strictly Nigel wasn't working absolutely full-time.
"He was employed as the manager of our international team and there wasn't a need for him to be sitting in the IFA offices from nine to five every day. He was also on a particular pay structure. Ultimately we are open to do what is right for the international team."
The IFA will begin interviewing candidates next week, with former internationals Jim Magilton, Michael O'Neill, Iain Dowie and Gerry Armstrong all in contention, alongside former Cardiff boss Dave Jones.
Worthington's predecessor Lawrie Sanchez has also made known his interest in the position.
The IFA hope to have a manager in place before the end of January and already have two friendly matches lined up for next year - at home to Norway on February 29 and a glamour fixture in Holland on June 2.
"Ideally we would like to have that person in place in good time for the friendly at home to Norway in February, but if we can't get the right person before then we won't make an inappropriate appointment just to have someone in charge," added Nelson.
"Our aim is to get the best person to lead Northern Ireland and I'm extremely hopeful that we will succeed in that aim."