Michael O'Neill: Northern Ireland manager agrees deal extension

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Why did Michael O'Neill turn the Scotland job down?

Michael O'Neill says he has agreed a new contract to remain as manager of Northern Ireland until 2024.

The former Brechin City and Shamrock Rovers boss will be signing a four-year extension to his existing deal.

He confirmed his decision at the Nations League draw, where Northern Ireland were drawn against Austria and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

O'Neill says he spoke to senior players before deciding to remain in his current role.

"There's little things that just need to be ironed out but nothing too much in terms of finances or anything like that," said O'Neill.

"I think it's important that I commit to Northern Ireland, I intend to do that and we hope to have something done within the next week."

The former Northern Ireland international had been linked with the Scotland manager's job but turned down the chance to succeed Gordon Strachan after talks with the Scottish FA.

"I felt that I needed to talk to Scotland but the IFA have been great since the Switzerland game, they've offered me a fantastic contract to stay and I just felt it was the right thing to do," added O'Neill.

"I had discussions with a lot of the senior players and a lot has been made of the team getting older but, having spoken to the players, they believe they have at least another campaign in them and it's up to me to try and develop the team further.

"There may be times when the team has a little bit of a down period but ultimately where we are now as a nation, we want to stay there and I've been trusted with that job."

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It was tough to turn down Scotland - O'Neill

Under the terms of the new deal, O'Neill says he will be given increased responsibility to develop football at all levels across Northern Ireland but still expects his senior players to commit to the team for another qualifying campaign.

""I don't think there's going to be the transition in the squad that people expect," he said.

"Obviously the European qualifiers don't start for another year so we have to try and grow the team as well and bring some new faces into the team. But certainly, the likes of the players that have been great for me in the last six years, I certainly want all of them to stay on."