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ESPN FC  By ESPN

Michael O'Neill: I've never said I'll leave Northern Ireland job despite links

Michael O'Neill applauds his team after a loss to Norway due to an own goal from Chris Brunt, right.
Michael O'Neill and Northern Ireland were denied by Switzerland in a World Cup playoff.

Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill has said he has not spoken to any other national football associations after being linked with both the United States and Scotland jobs.

O'Neill, who is discussing a new Northern Ireland contract after seeing his side lose to Switzerland in a World Cup qualifying playoff, has said he now wants to lead them to Euro 2020.

The Scottish FA was given permission to hold talks with O'Neill following the dismissal of Gordon Strachan, but the Northern Ireland boss, in charge for six years, said discussions had not taken place.

The BBC quoted him as saying: "I hope to get the team to another European Championship -- it's not a job I'm going to leave easily.

"There's been a lot of speculation but I've still two years left on my contract. People are always assuming that I'm going to make a decision to leave the position, but I've never said that.

"I know the Scottish FA has indicated they would like to speak with me but there's been nothing more than that."

O'Neill added that "After Christmas we can discuss things in more detail" but stressed that the job was "very important" to him.

Last month, sources told ESPN FC that O'Neill was interested in the then-vacant manager's job at West Bromwich Albion and was on the club's list of potential options.

Sources close to him said he was interested in both the West Brom and Scotland posts, with speculation about his future growing after he led Northern Ireland to the round-of-16 at Euro 2016 in their first major finals since the 1986 World Cup.

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