Belfast Telegraph

Odds halved on Michael O'Neill becoming Rangers or Sunderland's next permanent manager

Northern Ireland boss Michael O'Neill is contracted with the Irish FA until 2020, but that hasn't stopped speculation over his immediate future.

After Northern Ireland were so narrowly ousted from the World Cup play-offs by Switzerland, the odds on O'Neill taking over as the next Rangers manager have been cut to 8/1. Last week, the odds on Paddy Power were double that at 16/1.

O'Neill is now third favourite for the Ibrox post, behind odds-on favourite Derek McInnes (3/10) and former Gers and Barcelona player Giovanni van Bronckhorst (5/1).

The odds on the Ballymena man becoming Sunderland's next boss have also been cut in half. Having been out at 20/1, O'Neill dipped as low as 4/1 yesterday before drifting out again to 10/1. Aitor Karanka is 5/6 favourite for the Black Cats job with Paul Heckingbottom (2/1) and Ally mcCoist (7/1) also ahead of O'Neill in the betting.

There's also a market on which job will be Michael O'Neill's next permanent post. Scotland is the favourite to land the NI manager at 7/4, with Rangers at 8/1 and Sunderland at 10/1. O'Neill to become the next Republic of Ireland manager is rated at 33/1, Celtic at 50/1 and Chelsea an outside bet at 100/1.

When asked about his future after Sunday evening's World Cup play-off defeat, O'Neill said he hadn't yet given thought to his future.

Nothern Ireland fans will be hoping all of this speculation is premature, and that their now legendary boss will stick around to lead his country to the 2020 European Championship finals.

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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