Michael O’Neill Commits His Long-Term Future To Northern Ireland

Michael O’Neill has committed his future to Northern Ireland by signing a four-year contract extension, meaning he will remain as manager until at least 2024.

After Northern Ireland failed to qualify for the World Cup, narrowly losing in a play-off to Switzerland, talks began between O’Neill and the Irish FA regarding a new contract.

After long deliberations, and other job offers, O’Neill has finally put pen to paper and ended any speculation on his future.

Speaking to Sky Sports, O’Neill confirmed the new contract by saying:

“The IFA came to me very quickly after the disappointment of defeat by Switzerland in the World Cup play-off and indicated that they would like to extend my contract.

“They anticipated that there would be interest, which there was. From the period from November to now, talks have been ongoing and they were very positive.

“I just felt as though it was the right thing to do. I’ve achieved a lot with Northern Ireland in the last six years but I still feel as though there is work to be done and I look forward to that challenge.”

O’Neill was recently approached by the Scottish FA about the possibility of him succeeding Gordon Strachan as head of their national team. They were willing to pay compensation of £500,000 to the Irish FA and permission was given for talks to go ahead. 

However, he turned down the job offer and said it was the wrong move for him at this time of his career. 

This new contract will see O’Neill in-charge for the next two European Championship qualifying campaigns, the 2022 World Cup qualifiers, and the first ever UEFA Nations League campaign.

Full details of the new contract are unknown although it has been revealed it is the most lucrative in the history of the Irish FA.

Peter Reynolds, Pundit Arena

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Author: The PA Team

This article was written by a member of The PA Team.