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Scottish FA risk losing Michael O’Neill

Michael O'Neill

The Scottish FA risk losing Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill after he admitted that there had been ‘no discussions’ with any football association.

Despite making a formal approach to the Irish FA and being granted permission to speak to the 48-year-old last month, the Scottish FA have yet to speak to him.

O’Neill said: “Certainly the SFA have indicated they’d like to speak to me. But there’s nothing more than that in terms of whether I have had discussions or I’ve not had discussions.”

He is already in talks with the Irish FA over extending his contract and added that he hoped to take Northern Ireland to a second successive European Championships in 2020, and with the Scottish FA doing nothing to convince O’Neill that he is their man, the 48-year-old could decide his own future before Stewart Regan and the suits at Hampden make their move. Especially after being linked to roles at West Brom, Rangers and the US national side.

Under-fire chief Stewart Regan claimed that he would wait until the summer before deciding on a successor to Gordon Strachan, however Scotland skipper Scott Brown hit out at the delay last month.

Brown said: “Michael O’Neill’s done a great job at Northern Ireland taking them to the Euros, so he’d be good if that’s the man they are going to go for.

“But they need to get the finger out a little bit and get the man sorted out, because there’s not a lot of time between now and the start of the qualifiers.

“We’ve only got three games, so we need to make sure we’ve got the right time and the manager knows who he is going to play so that we’re not just going right in, and we have momentum going into the first game.

“It’s common sense to get the man in as soon as possible. Here’s hoping they actually go and get someone quite quickly and they can get settled in.”

O’Neill led Northern Ireland to their first international tournament in around 30 years when they secured qualification to Euro 2016 in France, before missing out on a World Cup spot after losing to Switzerland in the playoffs.

Scotland have failed to qualify for a major tournament since the 1998 World Cup in France.

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