Published 10/10/2011 | 15:57
The highest-profile Northern Irish manager on the circuit, in pure footballing terms he would be seen as an ideal man to improve fortunes on the field. He is not thought to covet the job, though, and would probably cost too much for the IFA to consider.
The Shamrock Rovers manager has emerged as a frontrunner at the perfect time after his success in leading a League Of Ireland side to the group stages of the Europa League for the first time.
A creditable showing against Tottenham Hotspur showed he has the appetite for the David-versus-Goliath fixtures he would face as Northern Ireland boss.
Seen by many as a future national team boss, he may nevertheless wish to wait for the job to come along again.
Although currently employed as O'Neill temporary assistant at Shamrock Rovers, Magilton is a viable candidate in his own right. He was considered for the job when Worthington was appointed, but opted against applying due to a lack of experience.
He has since managed Ipswich and QPR, while his 52 Northern Ireland caps and Belfast home would count in his favour.
Like Magilton, Dowie's history with the national side is a plus point and he is still well liked by the Northern Ireland fans.
He seemed set for a lasting career in management when he took the unfancied Crystal Palace into the Premier League but spells at Charlton, Coventry, QPR and, most recently, Hull have failed to improve his reputation.
Former boss Sanchez's results were impressive and he masterminded some of the most famous wins in Northern Ireland's history by seeing off Spain and England.
But he walked away from the side when they were on the cusp of qualification for Euro 2008 and has not been forgiven.
His recent criticisms of Worthington - and suggestions that he would like to return - have been poorly received, not least by the players, and the IFA would face a near mutiny if they considered a return.
Derby marked manager Steve McClaren's first year in charge by seeing off Bournemouth 2-0 at Pride Park
With Nigel Worthington stepping down as manager after tomorrow's trip to Italy, the Irish Football Association will be on the lookout for a new boss.
Here, we assess the potential candidates.
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