O'Neill to sign new contract

24 January 2018 09:58:16 EST

Michael O'Neill has demonstrated his commitment to Northern Ireland, agreeing to a four-year contract extension.

The new deal, which means he will remain as Northern Ireland manager until 2024, comes just days after O'Neill turned down the chance to become Scotland's new boss after talks with the Scottish FA.

They've offered me a fantastic contract to stay and I just felt it was the right thing to do.

Michael O'Neill

Speaking at the Nations League draw, where his team were placed in a group alongside Austria and Bosnia-Herzegovina, O'Neill said that terms were largely agreed and he expects to sign the new deal shortly.

He said: "I think it's important that I commit to Northern Ireland, I intend to do that and we hope to have something done within the next week."

O'Neill also talked a little about turning down the chance to become Gordon Strachan's successor as Scotland boss, adding: "I felt that I needed to talk to Scotland but the IFA have been great since the Switzerland game, they've offered me a fantastic contract to stay and I just felt it was the right thing to do.

"I had discussions with a lot of the senior players and a lot has been made of the team getting older but, having spoken to the players, they believe they have at least another campaign in them and it's up to me to try and develop the team further."

O'Neill took charge of Northern Ireland in 2011 and guided the team to their first ever European Championship in France in 2016.

They then performed creditably in finishing runners-up to Germany in World Cup qualifying for Russia later this year but lost out to Switzerland in the play-offs.

Russia are 40/1 to win the World Cup on home soil with England 18/1 and defending champions Germany priced at 9/2.

Northern Ireland are 250/1 to win the 2020 European Championships.

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