Michael O'Neill finalises deal to remain Northern Ireland manager

Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill

Michael O’Neill’s four-year contract extension as Northern Ireland manager is to be formally announced at a media conference in Belfast on Friday.

The 48-year-old recently turned down the chance to succeed Gordon Strachan as Scotland boss.

Instead O’Neill opted to accept the longest and most lucrative contract in the Irish FA’s history.

The former international midfielder had been contracted until 2020 and the new deal will run until 2024.

That means he should guide Northern Ireland through the next two European Championship campaigns and the qualifying series for the 2022 World Cup which is to be held in Qatar.

It is believed his contract again has a clause entitling the IFA to compensation if O’Neill moves on to a club job.

O’Neill has been in charge of Northern Ireland for six years, the highlight being reaching the last 16 at the Euro 2016 tournament in France.

The NI team followed that by finishing second behind Germany in their World Cup qualifying group for this year’s finals in Russia, before being controversially beaten by Switzerland in the play-offs.

Edinburgh-based O’Neill had talks with the Scottish FA but last month revealed his decision to stay on as Northern Ireland manager.

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