The Scottish Football Association has been granted permission to talk to Northern Ireland boss Michael O’Neill regarding its vacant manager’s position, Press Association Sport understands.
O’Neill is the SFA’s number one choice to replace Gordon Strachan, who left his position after an unsuccessful World Cup qualifying campaign.
An official approach came in November and after a compensation package was agreed, O’Neill looks set to meet the SFA next week.
After Scotland made clear their interest in the 48-year-old last year, the Irish FA responded with a new contract offer of its own.
O’Neill has two years left on his current £500,000-a-year deal and was offered a new four-year extension. He has previously said he wanted his future sorted by the end of January.
O’Neill has been a wanted man after his impressive work as Northern Ireland boss, having been linked with recent vacancies at Sunderland and West Brom.
After taking over from Nigel Worthington in 2011, he guided his country to Euro 2016 in France – their first major tournament since 1986 – but missed out on the World Cup after a play-off defeat to Switzerland.