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IFA quiet amid Michael O'Neill-Norwich reports

The Northern Ireland boss could be in line for a move to the Championship.

Michael O'Neill helped guide Northern Ireland to the second round of Euro 2016 last summer.
Michael O'Neill helped guide Northern Ireland to the second round of Euro 2016 last summer.

THE IRISH FOOTBALL Association (IFA) have declined to comment amid reports linking manager Michael O’Neill to the vacant Norwich job.

Several media outlets, including the Telegraph and BBC Radio Norfolk, are reporting that former Shamrock Rovers boss O’Neill is in the running to take charge at Norwich, though the IFA were unwilling to comment on these stories when contacted by The42.

The club are set for another season in the Championship, after their bid to return to the Premier League at the first attempt ultimately fell short, as the Canaries currently find themselves eighth, 10 points off the playoff spots with one game to play.

Norwich’s disappointing season led to Alex Neil stepping down as manager, with former West Brom and Preston coach Alan Irvine appointed caretaker boss until the end of the season.

The BBC report that O’Neill and Norwich have held informal talks about the possibility of the Northern Ireland boss taking charge at Carrow Road, while it is understood that O’Neill’s release clause of £750,000 for Premier League clubs is lower for Championship sides.

The club’s new sporting director Stuart Webber has been tasked with leading recruitment for Neil’s successor, with Huddersfield coach David Wagner and Fleetwood boss Uwe Rosler among those also reportedly being considered for the role.

O’Neill has received plenty of plaudits since taking over as Northern Ireland boss in 2011, helping guide the team to Euro 2016 — their first major tournament qualification since the 1986 World Cup — while they are currently second behind Germany in their World Cup qualification group and well set for a place in the playoffs.

In addition to Republic of Ireland star Wes Hoolahan, one Northern Ireland international, Michael McGovern, currently plays for the club.

Another of O’Neill’s players, Kyle Lafferty, had been playing with the Canaries before it was announced earlier today that he was one of seven senior pros being released.

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Paul Fennessy

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