Scotland ask for permission to talk to Michael O'Neill but Sunderland also interested
By Sky Sports News
Last Updated: 15/11/17 8:43pm
The Scottish FA has made an official approach to the Irish FA for permission to speak to their manager Michael O'Neill, Sky Sports News understands.
The SFA approach to speak to O'Neill came on Wednesday morning but SSN also understands Sky Bet Championship side Sunderland are preparing to launch a move for the in-demand 48-year-old.
He guided Northern Ireland to Euro 2016 but missed out on World Cup qualification last weekend after his side lost a play-off 1-0 on aggregate to Switzerland.
O'Neill and his two Northern Ireland assistants - Jimmy Nicholl and Austin MacPhee - all live in Scotland.
Scotland are looking for a long-term replacement for Gordon Strachan, who left his role after failing to qualify for the 2018 World Cup play-offs.
Malky Mackay took over from Strachan in the interim but he has already been told he is not being seen as a candidate to replace him in the longer-term.
Sunderland fired Simon Grayson last month and are reported to have four-man shortlist as they whittle down candidates to take over at the Stadium of Light.
Sky Sports News understands Barnsley boss Paul Heckingbottom is one of their primary targets, but as of Tuesday no official approach had been made to talk to the 40-year-old.