IFA step up fight to keep Michael O'Neill with £4m offer
Michael O'Neill is in line for a whopping £4m package and a new long-term contract from the Irish Football Association should he decide to continue as Northern Ireland manager rather than make the switch to Scotland or take a club job.
With O'Neill's current £500,000-per-year deal up in 2020, the IFA have offered the 48-year-old a new six-year deal worth between £600,000 and £700,000-per-year hoping that the increased security and salary will persuade him to stay and try to take his home country to more major tournaments.
The inspirational O'Neill has become one of football's most wanted men due to the incredible success he has enjoyed with Northern Ireland. He led the team to the Euro 2016 finals and just lost out on a place in next year's World Cup when Switzerland were victorious in a two legged play-off thanks to a shocking penalty decision in their favour at Windsor Park.
Scotland have identified the former Newcastle and Dundee United player as the man they want to replace Gordon Strachan while Premier League side West Brom are also interested after sacking Tony Pulis. USA and Rangers have also been linked with a move for the ex-Shamrock Rovers supremo.
The IFA, though, are determined to do everything they can to keep O'Neill, who, along with the rest of his family, suffered heartache at the weekend when his beloved mother Patricia passed away after a long illness. Mrs O'Neill's funeral will take place in Ballymena this morning.
After the defeat to the Swiss, the IFA decided they would offer O'Neill a new four-year extension. The terms, which include bonuses for reaching future tournaments, were agreed before Scotland made an official approach to speak to O'Neill.
The IFA are in line for a £750,000 pay-off if O'Neill moves to WBA or another top-flight English side while the Scottish FA would have to pay £500,000 in compensation if successful in landing their No.1 target.