MX23RW : Wednesday, September 26 11:14:21

Report: Irish FA formally approves new long-term Michael O'Neill contract

The Irish FA board has formally approved a new long-term contract for manager Michael O'Neill, according to a report.

The Irish FA board has reportedly approved a new long-term contract for manager Michael O'Neill.

The 48-year-old guided Northern Ireland to the knockout stages of Euro 2016 but fell just short in qualification for the 2018 World Cup.

As a result, speculation arose around O'Neill's future, with Scotland believed to be seeking the former Shamrock Rovers boss as a replacement for Gordon Strachan.

However, the Northern Irishman turned down the Scottish Football Association's offer and, according to Sky Sports News, the IFA is preparing to offer their nation's head coach a new deal.

The report claims that board met earlier this week, with O'Neill's contract the only item on the agenda, and there was unanimous support for the former Newcastle United midfielder.

In addition, O'Neill will reportedly be given greater control of all football development matters in Northern Irish football.

Northern Ireland fell to an unlucky playoff defeat at the hands of Switzerland in November as they sought a place at this summer's World Cup finals in Russia.

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A general shot of a Premier League football ahead of the Premier League clash between Everton and West Ham United at Goodison Park on October 30, 2016
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