Thursday 22 February 2018

North left to wait and see as Norwich consider O'Neill

'O’Neill would not come cheap if Norwich opted to offer him the job.' Photo: AFP/Getty
'O’Neill would not come cheap if Norwich opted to offer him the job.' Photo: AFP/Getty

John Percy

Norwich will step up their search for a new manager next week, with Northern Ireland's Michael O'Neill very much in the running.

Fleetwood manager Uwe Rösler is thought to be the leading candidate, but O'Neill is also a strong contender, along with Huddersfield's David Wagner.

O'Neill would not come cheap if Norwich opted to offer him the job. Under the terms of the contract O'Neill signed just over a year ago, the Irish Football Association is entitled to £750,000 in compensation.

Meanwhile, Claude Puel faces an anxious wait over his Southampton future, with the club set to consider their options at the end of the season even though they gave the Frenchman a three-year contract in 2016.

Southampton have taken great pride in making progress every season in recent years, regardless of managerial changes, and there is a fear they are heading in the wrong direction under Puel despite reaching the final of the League Cup, in which they were unlucky to lose to Manchester United.

With the club ninth in the Premier League and in danger of finishing below south coast rivals Bournemouth. And with three of their remaining five fixtures against Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester United, Southampton could easily slip into the bottom half of the table.

That would be considered a failure for a club who aim to finish top of the second tier of clubs in the Premier League and regard seventh place as an achievable target.

Southampton constantly update a list of managerial targets. Whether they feel they can bring in the right man to replace Puel could ultimately decide the 55-year-old's fate.

Irish Independent

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