Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill not interested in head coach vacancy at Norwich City
PUBLISHED: 16:45 03 May 2017 | UPDATED: 17:00 03 May 2017
Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill has dismissed reports he has spoken to Norwich City about becoming the club’s head coach this summer.
The Sun on Sunday had suggested the 47-year-old was being considered for the vacancy by City’s sporting director Stuart Webber but O’Neill says no contact has been made.
“There’s been nothing at all, nothing at all,” he said when asked about contact from Norwich City. “I’m under contract, the club’s first port of call would be to speak to Patrick Nelson (chief executive) here at the Irish FA and my understanding is that hasn’t taken place.”
The Canaries sacked Alex Neil on March 10 and have had Alan Irvine operating as interim head coach for the previous nine matches.
Webber has suggested that a permanent appointment will be made within “two or three weeks” of the season coming to a conclusion against QPR on Sunday, with City set to finish between eighth and 10th place in the Championship.
Fleetwood boss Uwe Rosler and Leeds manager Garry Monk have also been strongly linked with the role – and O’Neill doesn’t think the role is likely to suit him.
“The Norwich City thing is obviously something that has come out in the media in England. Realistically, it’s probably not what I would be looking for at this minute in time,” O’Neill continued, speaking to BBC Sport Northern Ireland.
“I think the club are probably in the market for a head coach. I’m a manager. I’ve managed my country for the last five years and I intend to manage my country going forward.
“Having gone to the finals in France in Euro 2016 I’m very focussed on trying to get us to Russia in 2018.”
O’Neill reportedly earns £500,000 in his role and signed a new four-year deal in March 2016 which dictates £750,000 compensation would be due if the former Newcastle midfielder were to leave for a Premier League team, although it is believed that fee would be lower for a Championship club.
That follows the former Brechin City and Shamrock Rovers boss leading his country to their first major tournament in 34 years and then to the knockout stages of Euro 2016 in France last summer.
However, O’Neill attracted just seven per cent of over 3,300 votes in a poll on our websites asking fans who they would like to be the new City head coach.
O’Neill’s team, which regularly features Canaries keeper Michael McGovern and outgoing striker Kyle Lafferty, are currently second in their World Cup qualifying group, five points behind leaders Germany after wins over San Marino, Azerbaijan and Norway and a draw in the Czech Republic.