Irish FA close in on new long-term deal for Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill

Northern Ireland boss Michael O'Neill
Northern Ireland boss Michael O'Neill

The Irish FA is closing in on a new long-term deal for Northern Ireland boss Michael O’Neill.

The Association is ready to offer O’Neill a new four-year contract following the historic success of the Euro 2016 qualifiers.

Northern Ireland finished top of Group F to reach a first-ever European Championship finals.

O’Neill’s current contract expires following next summer’s Euros.

The 46-year-old – who was appointed in December 2011 – continues to be linked with a number of club jobs across the water.

While O’Neill makes no secret of his desire to one day return to club coaching, he also refused to rule out staying in his current role.

He has already admitted he would like a new four-year contract to take Northern Ireland forward – a deal the Irish FA are ready to offer.

“I have had discussions with Patrick (Nelson, IFA chief executive) and they have all been very positive,” O’Neill said on Wednesday as he named a 23-man squad for next week’s friendly against Latvia..

“I have a good relationship with the board and Patrick. It is not as if I have to have it (contract) signed next week.

“Talks have been positive, and I would imagine between now and leading into the Christmas period things will progress.

“And if we can reach an agreement then hopefully something can be sorted around the New Year.”