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Northern Ireland's Michael O'Neill inches ever closer to taking Scotland job

Issues involving compensation are believed to have been sorted out.

Image: Jeff Holmes

IT WOULD APPEAR that Michael O’Neill’s six-year spell in charge of the Northern Ireland team is over and that the 48-year-old will be appointed as Scotland boss sooner rather than later.

The Scottish FA have held talks with the former Shamrock Rovers manager and, after a lengthy back-and-forth, compensation was agreed with the Irish Football Association recently.

It now seems just a matter of time before O’Neill is officially confirmed as Gordon Strachan’s successor.

Having qualified Northern Ireland for the European Championships in 2016 – the first time in 30 years that the side had reached a major tournament – O’Neill fell agonisingly short of guiding the team to this summer’s World Cup after a controversial 1-0 play-off defeat to Switzerland.

Still, he has been Scotland’s prime target ever since Strachan stepped aside in October after his team failed to make it to Russia.

O’Neill always seemed to make sense as a target given he lives in Edinburgh and has both playing and coaching experience in Scotland.

He has two years to run on his current NI deal and has been offered a four-year extension.

O’Neill has been courted by other teams in recent months and turned down the Middlesbrough job late last year.

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Eoin O'Callaghan

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