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Scottish FA make official approach to speak to Northern Ireland boss Michael O'Neill: reports

By Gareth Hanna

The Scottish FA have officially approached the Irish FA to speak to manager Michael O'Neill, according to reports.

The Edinburgh-based boss is the 4/5 favourite to take over the post after his Northern Ireland side fell at the final hurdle in their bid to qualify for the World Cup finals.

And now Sky Sports have reported that the SFA have made an official approach and that English Championship side Sunderland are expected to make a move for the man who guided Northern Ireland to the Euro 2016 finals. The Irish FA have offered 'no comment' in response to the reports of a Scottish approach.

This morning, the Belfast Telegraph reported that the Irish FA are considering offering their sought-after manager a new and improved contract in a bid to persuade him to stay.

O'Neill is thought to currently earn £500,000 a year for his role with his native Northern Ireland and is contracted until 2020. However, Scotland are reportedly prepared to almost double his salary along with a significant bonus should he lead the Scottish national team to the Euro 2020 finals.

Scotland are seeking to replace Gordon Strachan, who left his post after failing to secure a place at the World Cup finals. Malky Mackay took over interim control but has been informed that he is not in the frame to succeed Strachan on a permanent basis.

The former Shamrock Rovers chief led Northern Ireland to their first ever European Championship finals and came close to securing their first World Cup finals spot since 1986 when they reached the play-off stage, beaten only by a contentious penalty at the hands of Switzerland.

The Northern Ireland players are therefore understandably keen for O'Neill to remain in his current post.

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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