Northern Ireland boss Michael O'Neill comments on links to Celtic managerial vacancy

O'Neill recently signed a new deal with his nation, despite links to Celtic.

Northern Ireland head coach Michael O’Neill has told Sky Sports News HQ why he signed a new deal with the country recently, despite being linked to the Celtic job.

Celtic are currently on the lookout for a new manager as Ronny Deila will be stepping down at the end of the current season.

Plenty of names have been linked with the role – including the likes of Roy Keane, David Moyes and Brendan Rodgers.

Another potential option is Northern Ireland boss O’Neill. He remains linked to the job even though his chances of becoming the new Bhoys manager appeared to dissipate in March when he signed a new four-year contract with the Irish FA to remain their head coach for a further four years.

Today, speaking on Sky Sports News HQ (11/05/16), the Northern Ireland boss was asked about his interest in the Celtic job:

“There’s a number of names that have been linked for that job and it is a fantastic job.

“I felt the right thing to do for me was to commit to Northern Ireland leading into the finals, to take that speculation away.

“I don’t think it would have been possible for me to have that in the back of my mind and focus on making sure we do well.

“If we can perform well, hopefully it will enhance my reputation and we will see what happens after that.”

O’Neill has worked wonders with the Northern Ireland national team and is already based in Scotland – which has certainly helped to stoke the flames of this rumour.

Despite signing the new deal O’Neill did still sound tempted by the idea of moving on and, as reported by the BBC, his new deal with Northern Ireland contains a release fee to terminate his contract should a club wish to appoint him.

So don’t rule O’Neill out the running for the Celtic job just yet.

FIFA World Cup 2018FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia - click here for all of our coverage...

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch