By Danny Wright
Northern Ireland have offered a “staggering” £6million deal to keep hold of manager Michael O’Neill, according to a report.
TeamTalk claims that the Irish FA have made a huge effort to tie down the 48-year-old with a six-year deal after finding him linked to the vacancies at Rangers, West Brom, Scotland and the USA.
The Telegraph has reported that Scottish Premiership side Rangers are interested in appointing O’Neill to replace Pedro Caixinha, who was sacked almost four weeks ago following a rotten run of results.
West Brom have emerged in contention to appoint the Northern Ireland boss since Tony Pulis was sacked on Monday, however it is now understood that the Premier League strugglers are not in fact keen on him.
Northern Ireland have now turned their attention to keeping O’Neill in their hotseat by tabling a stunning seven-figure deal that is worth £1million-a-year, which is believed to be rising to £1.2million-a-year.
TeamTalk states that the Scottish FA are unable to surpass a £1million salary, however the USA are now seeming like the biggest threat to Northern Ireland as they look for Bruce Arena’s successor.
Football Insider Verdict
If the Scottish FA are struggling to match the fees put forward by the Irish FA, then there’s every chance that Rangers may also find it tough to meet the mark. The Light Blues have suffered financially in recent years and are not likely to be able to go into a bidding war over O’Neill. It remains to be seen what the ex-Brechin City boss wants to do in the future but the offer from Northern Ireland may be one that’s too good to turn down. Rangers must make some progress in finding Caixinha’s replacement in the coming days. The 2-0 home loss to Hamilton on Saturday was a humiliation of sorts and proves that Graeme Murty can only be left in caretaker charge for so long before the wheels really start to fall off the wagon.
In other Rangers news, another one of the Gers’s manager targets is attracting attention from elsewhere.