By Danny Wright
Northern Ireland have offered Michael O’Neill a stunning new six-year contract, according to a report.
Sky Sports claims on their website that the Irish FA have made an emphatic effort to keep hold of O’Neill, 48, after the Sun reported that West Brom and Scotland wanted him to fill their respective vacancies.
The Telegraph has recently reported that Scottish Premiership side Rangers are also keen on the ex-Brechin City boss as a replacement for Pedro Caixinha.
It is now understood that Northern Ireland are looking to make O’Neill the highest paid manager in the country’s history after he almost led them to the World Cup finals in Russia next summer.
West Brom sacked Tony Pulis on Monday with the Black Country club just one point shy of the Premier League relegation zone, capping off what has been a terrible run of form.
The Baggies have won just three of their last 24 league fixtures and the 4-0 home loss to Chelsea on Saturday in front of the unhappy Hawthorns faithful forced chairman John Williams into pulling the trigger.
It has been widely reported that Albion are now pursing a manager who already has experience in the English top-flight, something which O’Neill doesn’t possess.
However the ex-Shamrock Rovers boss has spent several years working alongside some of West Brom’s senior stars in Gareth McAuley, Chris Brunt and Jonny Evans.
Football Insider Verdict
There was a massive sense of relief that washed over West Bromwich on Monday when Pulis was axed after a turgid run of form. Nobody wanted the Welshman at the Hawthorns anymore and that was clear on Saturday when they lost at home to Chelsea. Albion look as though they want someone with Premier League experience, which would make sense given the situation they’re in because of Pulis. Sam Allardyce and Alan Pardew are obvious options but Nigel Pearson could also be someone who could tempt the Baggies board. The ex-Leicester boss has history with Albion and could be the man to whip the players into shape. The pursuit of O’Neill looks to be a non-starter.
In other Rangers news, West Brom are also in the hunt for this Gers manager target.