Gordon Strachan left his role as Scotland manager in October last year, but the SFA have still to appoint a permanent successor.
Michael O’Neill appeared as the favourite to take the job when the Northern Irish FA granted their Scottish counterparts permission to speak to their manager.
But that hasn’t led to discussions with O’Neill – and now we’re left wondering just who could take on the job.
The usual candidates remain, including Alex McLeish, Paul Lambert and Malky Mackay.
But with nearly three months having passed since Strachan left the job, other candidates may have changed. So here’s our alternative shortlist for the role:
Surely Wright has earned the opportunity of a top job after his work at St Johnstone? Sure, they may not be pulling up trees right now as they struggle to make it into the top six in the Scottish Premiership, but they’ve made that look easy during his time at the club. They’ve never finished outside the top six under Wright, with the last three campaigns finishing in fourth. St Johnstone also won the Scottish Cup in 2014 and have made the semi-finals of the League Cup twice under Wright. Early European football has been a regularity too for Saints fans. Wright is a pragmatic manager who you’d fancy would be in the discussion for Northern Ireland manager if O’Neill was to leave that job soon. So why not Scotland? He knows the players and strikes us as the kind of boss who could get the best out of a talented, but also limited, squad.
We wondered if Redknapp was attempting to circulate his name among Scots when he praised a number of players, and the game in general, recently. The English manager may be 70, and unfairly dubbed as a wheeler dealer by some, but he’s got a very impressive CV and one that should be considered by the SFA if he was interested in the job. Redknapp has had success at almost every club he’s managed – and you can’t criticise him for his recent sacking at Birmingham considering he kept them in the Championship last season after taking over with just three games remaining. He was then harshly binned by the Blues after just six matches of the new campaign. A brief stint in charge of Jordan aside, Redknapp hasn’t had that international management experience yet and we believe that could be the best option for him at this stage of his career.
Where does Bilic go after being sacked by West Ham? The Croatian manager endured a farcical end to his time in control at the Hammers and that may put prospective employers off him moving forward. Like many who are sacked in the Premier League, he may find it difficult to get another crack at that level so international football, something Bilic has enjoyed earlier in his career, could be a good option for him. By taking on the Scotland job, he’d be in the spotlight of British football and ideally placed to get another good job in England if he was to make a success of the Tartan Army role. Look at Chris Coleman and Michael O’Neill for example. Both did brilliantly for Wales and Northern Ireland respectively and have been in demand ever since, with Coleman taking on the Sunderland job.
Fresh from being binned by Stoke, Hughes looks short on options for his next role in the game. He’s got a lot of experience in English football, but hardly pulled up trees for Stoke and that may lead to others being in a better position once new jobs appear in the Premier League. Like Bilic, maybe a stint in international football could galvanise Hughes and restore his reputation to the point where English clubs are interested. The job he did with Wales earlier in his managerial career shows what he can do and Scotland would be silly not to consider him.
As the youngest of all the options, Karanka may also seem unrealistic due to the job he did with Middlesbrough and his reputation still being strong within the game in England. Leading Middlesbrough to the Premier League, Karanka was harshly sacked in his first season in the big time so you’d imagine the Spaniard will have his sights set on a job at a similar level. But, if he showed any interest in becoming Scotland boss then it’d be crazy not to look at him.