O’Neill led Northern Ireland to the Euro 2016 finals in France

The Irish Football Association is understood to have offered Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill a four-year contract extension to his existing deal in a bid to retain his services.

The IFA moved swiftly in the wake of the World Cup play-off defeat by Switzerland as they became aware of interest from numerous other parties.

The proposal would see O’Neill stay in charge of Northern Ireland until 2024.

O’Neill has been granted permission to hold talks with the Scottish FA.

BBC Sport NI understands that the IFA made their offer to O’Neill before the Scottish FA made their request to speak to the former Brechin City and Shamrock Rovers boss last week.

O’Neill is the SFA’s preferred candidate to replace Gordon Strachan as their national manager.

The 48-year-old has been in his present post since succeeding Nigel Worthington in December 2011.

The IFA’s renewed offer would see him remain as NI manager for the forthcoming Euro 2020 qualifying campaign as well as for the subsequent World Cup 2022 and Euro 2024 qualifiers.

O’Neill was handed an improved contract until 2020, believed to be worth in the region of £500,000 per year, after leading Northern Ireland to their first major tournament for 30 years, the Euro 2016 finals in France.

The IFA would be due compensation from any club or national association who succeeds in persuading O’Neill to leave.

His side narrowly missed out on qualification for the 2018 Russia World Cup finals after losing 1-0 on aggregate to Switzerland in their play-off thanks to a controversial penalty in the first leg at Windsor Park.

O’Neill has also been linked with the United States managerial position and the vacant posts at Premier League club West Bromwich Albion and Scottish Premiership side Rangers.


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