O'Neill rejects Scotland role

22 January 2018 09:20:34 EST

Michael O'Neill has decided to stay on as Northern Ireland manager after rejecting Scotland's offer for him to replace Gordon Strachan.

The 48-year-old, who has guided the Northern Irish to the last 16 of Euro 2016 and to the play-offs for this summer's World Cup during his tenure, was thought to be the Scottish FA's first-choice candidate to replace Strachan after his departure following their failure to end a 20-year wait to reach a major tournament in the World Cup qualification campaign.

It's a huge honour to be offered the position however I do not feel that this is the right opportunity for me at this moment in my career,

Michael O'Neill

O'Neill has a close affinity to Scottish football following spells at Dundee United, Hibernian, Aberdeen and St Johnstone during his playing days, while he also managed Brechin City.

But it now looks like he will be staying on with Northern Ireland as he is contracted to the Irish Football Association until 2020 with an extension to take him to 2024 also on the table.

"It's a huge honour to be offered the position however I do not feel that this is the right opportunity for me at this moment in my career," O'Neil said.

"I would like to place on record my gratitude to the SFA for the very professional manner in which they conducted negotiations and I would also like to wish them every success for the future."

The SFA must go back to the drawing board to find a successor for Strachan following his near five-year spell at the helm with Alex McLeish keen on a second spell in charge, while the SFA performance director Malky Mackay could be in the running after he took charge of the senior team for the November friendly defeat against the Netherlands.

Meanwhile, Northern Ireland are 250/1 win Euro 2020, while England are priced at 8/1 and France are available at 4/1.

View all Soccer betting