Michael O'Neill set for talks over vacant Scotland job

Michael O'Neill is expected to be named as the new Scotland manager
Credit
PA

There is nothing in it. Michael is still in the job, he is the manager of Northern Ireland, he isn't the manager of Scotland.

Rodgers replied thus to the claims that the Scottish F.A sees O'Neill as the right man for the job: "It is not surprising".

However, Northern Ireland's failure to beat Switzerland in a World Cup play off means that O'Neill's future is now being speculated about. "If Michael sees that as a challenge then I think Scotland is a great job for someone".

The former Hibernian player is approaching his sixth anniversary in charge of Northern Ireland and Rodgers feels there are plenty of options for him after he led his team to Euro 2016 and the verge of the World Cup finals.

"If you look at the Scotland squad it is an exciting group of players there that could go forward". Their top players over the next few years will move on.

Northern Ireland boss O'Neill was quickly identified as the top target to replace Gordon Strachan.

"It is also whether he thinks whether after that period of time does he want to do the day to day job and I am sure that is something he would consider".

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With O'Neill out of contention, another name on their radar is Barnsley's Paul Heckingbottom, who has also spoken about the Stadium of Light vacancy. "There's only one way they could go, I would hope".

"If he came out of Northern Ireland there's nobody Northern Irish or anyone who would ever hold anything against him. Northern Irish people would want him to stay, but he's earned the time and the respect to make the decision that is best for him in the next part of his career".

Sunderland are now looking for a replacement for Simon Grayson.

St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright is understood to be a favourite with the IFA to take over, should close friend O'Neill leave his role.

"He'd be absolutely brilliant".

"I have to reiterate, I am happy at St Johnstone".

"He's done really well, and if Scotland do get him it's a great job to have".

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