• Northern Ireland FA granted permission for talks after weeks of deadlock
• SFA expected to offer O’Neill four-year contract with lucrative bonuses
The Guardian understands the Scottish FA will open talks with its prime managerial target Michael O’Neill after being granted permission by its equivalent in Northern Ireland on Friday. The SFA has refused to comment on the situation and still regards the hiring of O’Neill as far from a fait accompli but this development will be seen as significant after weeks of apparent deadlock.
Scotland are expected to make O’Neill an offer to become the highest paid manager in their international history, with a four-year contract likely to be on the table. This would include a lucrative bonus for ending a major finals wait which stretches back to 1998.