Could Rangers' and Sunderland's hopes of landing Michael O'Neill be boosted by Northern Ireland squad?

Michael O'Neill, Manager of Northern Ireland looks dejected following the FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifier Play-Off: Second Leg between Switzerland and Northern Ireland at St. Jakob-Park on...

Glasgow Rangers are reportedly considering Michael O'Neill for the Ibrox post, while Sunderland have also been linked.

Michael O'Neill, Manager of Northern Ireland looks dejected following the FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifier Play-Off: Second Leg between Switzerland and Northern Ireland at St. Jakob-Park on...

According to a report from The Scottish Sun, Rangers and Sunderland are amongst the sides who are interested in considering Michael O'Neill for their vacant management positions following Northern Ireland's inability to qualify for the World Cup.

O'Neill's reputation has been enhanced dramatically since he took the national team job six years ago, guiding the country to Euro 2016 before they were cruelly denied a place in Russia next year. 

Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill during the FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifier between Northern Ireland and Czech Republic at Windsor Park on September 4, 2017 in Belfast, Northern...

The Scottish Sun reports that Rangers and Sunderland are amongst the sides interested in offering O'Neill a fresh challenge - so could the state of the current Northern Ireland squad boost the Gers' or the Black Cats' chances of landing the 48-year-old?

Of the 23 players who were in the squad for the second-leg of their play-off with Switzerland on Sunday, 11 were over the age of 30, while four members of the squad are 35 or older.

Considering that qualifying for Euro 2020 does not begin until 2019 - though the much-maligned Nations League will have started by that point - it would be no surprise if a number of those key men have retired from international football by the time their next competitive fixture comes around.

A general view of Ibrox Stadium is seen ahead of the EURO 2016 Qualifier match between Scotland and Georgia at Ibrox Stadium on October 11, 2014 in Glasgow, Scotland.

It would be commendable if O'Neill decided to stick around and try and usher in a new era for the new country, but he would undoubtedly be forgiven if he felt that it was also the right time to move on and allow another manager to start the new chapter. 

And should he have his doubts about whether he is the right man to lead the country forward, perhaps the prospect of moving to either Rangers or Sunderland may boast more of an appeal to him if either opportunity was offered. 

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