Belfast Telegraph

Our Michael could be Bhoy for Celtic

By Steven Beacom

Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill will become a target for Celtic when current Parkhead boss Ronny Deila loses his job in the summer.

The pressure intensified on Deila at the weekend when Celtic were defeated 3-1 by Ross County in the Scottish League Cup semi-final, ending hopes of a domestic treble for the Bhoys.

After failing to guide Celtic into the Champions League group stages in his first two seasons in charge, Sunday's embarrassing loss was the final straw for some influential figures at Parkhead.

Even if Deila leads the Hoops to a Scottish Premiership and Scottish Cup double, it is unlikely to be enough to save him with Celtic fans growing increasingly frustrated.

O'Neill, whose stock is high in boardrooms in England and Scotland after inspiring Northern Ireland to Euro 2016, will be amongst the candidates considered to replace the Norwegian.

A source close to the club said: "Michael is highly regarded in Scotland and would be in the frame if the job became available."

The Northern Ireland boss will go to the finals in France with a new four-year IFA contract in his pocket, but there will be clauses in that deal allowing him to speak to clubs.

In December, O'Neill said while not actively seeking a club job he would 'evaluate' any opportunities that come along.

Northern Ireland fans are realistic enough to know that given the success he has had at international level, clubs will come calling.

Belfast Telegraph