The 55-year-old, who has been out of work since leaving Middlesbrough in October 2010, has been in negotiation with the Scottish Football Association with regards to his salary and contract length since the turn of the year. Although those conditions remain unclear, Strachan will be handed at least the remainder of Scotland's failed 2014 World Cup qualification campaign plus the country's attempt to make it to the 2016 European Championship.
Scotland have not appeared at a major finals since 1998, a matter which has had a negative impact on public confidence towards the SFA and the governing body's financial position. The SFA has also been heavily criticised for its role in the deeply unpopular reforms of Scotland's domestic set-up.
Strachan was immediately the favoured choice of senior figures within the SFA and among the country's international football support after the inevitable sacking of Craig Levein. Under Levein, Scotland failed to qualify for last summer's European Championship and made an abysmal start to the 2014 campaign; they lie bottom of Group A with two points from four matches.
Strachan was the country's outstanding candidate, with Joe Jordan, who has joined Harry Redknapp at Queens Park Rangers, and Owen Coyle only tentatively mentioned as alternatives. Alex McLeish was briefly quoted, but distanced himself from a return to the Scotland role and has been appointed as the manager of Nottingham Forest.
Strachan, when asked directly about the Scotland job, which will be his first in international management, said in November: "It's quite simple really – it would be an honour to be asked to be the manager of your own national side; it's terrific."
Levein remains in a legal dispute with the SFA in relation to the remainder of his contract. The association has been seeking to retain Levein on its payroll but the 48-year-old wants the balance of his contract paid up.
Strachan has been employed as a pundit by ITV since leaving Middlesbrough. His 12-month spell in the north-east was less than distinguished, with Boro 20th in the Championship when he left, their lowest position for two decades. Of 46 games in charge after he succeeded Gareth Southgate, Strachan won only 13 and, according to the chairman, Steve Gibson, was so chastened by the experience he refused any compensation, despite having two and a half years left on his contract.
Before that, Strachan managed Coventry City, Southampton and Celtic. He was relegated with Coventry but bounced back with Southampton, whom he took to the 2003 FA Cup final where they lost 1–0 to Arsenal.
Strachan took a 16-month break after resigning from Southampton in 2004 before becoming manager of Celtic, where he won three successive league titles before resigning in May 2009 after failing to win a fourth title.
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image: © Ronnie Macdonald