By Danny Wright
Northern Ireland chiefs held a meeting on Tuesday night for formal discussions about the future of Rangers manager target Michael O’Neill, according to a report.
The Scottish Sun claims that the Irish FA will offer O’Neill, 48, a new contract in light of him being linked with Scotland, Sunderland, the USA and Rangers since Northern Ireland failed to reach the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
The Telegraph has recently reported that the Light Blues are interested in the former Brechin City and Shamrock Rovers boss as their search for Pedro Caixinha enters it’s third week.
It is now understood that O’Neill is the most highly paid manager in the history of Northern Ireland’s national team, but that won’t stop the IFA from handing him a payrise to secure his future services.
The Scottish Sun adds that there is a £750,000 get-out clause in O’Neill’s current deal with his home nation’s international team, but that may not apply to Rangers as it is only for Premier League teams who are interested in the Northern Irishman.
Football Insider Verdict
As Rangers have been waiting a long time to get their new manager, many suggested that they could have been holding out for Northern Ireland to miss out on the World Cup to free up O’Neill. However with no approaches made for anyone yet, it seems that the Light Blues have hit the buffers in their search or are happy just to let Graeme Murty continue his fine work as caretaker manager. Murty and his side are preparing to face Hamilton this weekend and could win their third game in a row, which is a feat that Caixinha spectacularly failed to achieve in his seven months at Ibrox. It could be that the Gers are actually waiting to see how the caretaker boss does this weekend.