Michael O'Neill turns down Scotland

Marco Green
January 23, 2018

Michael O'Neill looks likely to sign a new deal with Northern Ireland having turned down the chance to take the Scotland job.

Neill and the Scottish Football Association (SFA) met on Thursday to discuss the 48-year-old taking over from Gordon Strachan, who was sacked as Scotland boss in October.

SFA chiefs made an official approach to their Irish counterparts last week after agreeing to pay a £500,000 compensation fee, but talks have now come to an end as O'Neill has chose to stay at the Windsor Park helm.

The former Dundee United and Hibernian midfielder has two years left to run on his current deal with the IFA, but has already been offered an extended contract until 2020.

49-year-old O'Neill saw his Northern Ireland side narrowly miss out on a spot at the World Cup in Russian Federation next year following a 1-0 aggregate defeat in the play-off to Switzerland.

"It is a huge honour to be offered the position, however, I do not feel that this is the right opportunity for me at this moment in my career".

Scottish Football Association chief executive Stewart Regan said his organisation "respected" O'Neill's decision to remain loyal to Northern Ireland. SFA performance director Malky Mackay took temporary charge for November's friendly loss against Holland and the SFA will now go back to the drawing board to recruit Strachan's successor.

The former Newcastle midfielder is now booked on a flight to Switzerland with the Irish Football Association delegation this week ahead of Wednesday's draw.

"We wish him well in his future endeavours and now continue our recruitment process from the candidate list established by the selection committee".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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