HEIMIR Hallgrimsson, the Iceland manager, revealed last night that he will refuse to be considered for the Scotland vacancy before the Russia 2018 finals this summer in order to concentrate fully on helping his homeland prepare for their first appearance in the World Cup.

Hallgrimsson’s name is believed to feature prominently on the shortlist of possible contenders to replace Gordon Strachan which a Scottish Football Association (SFA) sub-committee drew up last year.

His chances of being approached about taking charge of the national team increased this week when Michael O’Neill, who the SFA singled out as their preferred candidate back in November, decided to remain with Northern Ireland.

However, the 50-year-old, who was the part-time assistant when his country stunned world football and reached the quarter-finals of the Euro 2016 finals in France, has no intention of leaving Iceland before they take part at Russia 2018 in June.

That would reduce his chances of being approached by the SFA as they have friendlies lined up against Costa Rica and Hungary in March and then Peru at the end of May and Mexico at the beginning of June.

It has, though, not ruled the former dentist out of the running as Stewart Regan, the SFA chief executive who has come under pressure to resign following the failure to bring in O’Neill, admitted on Thursday the governing body would not be rushed into an appointment.

Scotland return to competitive action in the inaugural Nations League in September and could theoretically wait until after the World Cup to make their move. Hallgrimsson said: “I am in the phone book!”

Hallgrimsson took over from the experienced Swedish manager Lars Lagerback after Euro 2016 and has built on the success they enjoyed together by leading Iceland to the first World Cup finals in their history. His team finished on top of Group I ahead of Croatia, Ukraine and Turkey.

He has no intention of even entering into discussions about a move to another national team before his team’s Group D matches against Argentina, Croatia and Nigeria.

“I have the best job in the world at the moment,” said Hallgrimsson. “It would be silly to be considering moving in a World Cup year. We are going to the World Cup for the first time.”

“It isn’t on my mind at the moment. All my focus is on Iceland playing in the World Cup. I can’t afford to be thinking about anything else. I need all of my focus to be on one side. That is psychology. I am 101 per cent focused on Iceland.”

Hallgrimsson believes he has been linked with the Scotland job as a result of the positive results which Iceland have enjoyed under him and the ties he has developed with the game in this country.

“I read something about it, but there has been no contact,” he said. “It is just one possibility of many because things are clicking at the moment for Iceland.

“I am happy with my position, happy with everything around me and happy with the players. When it all goes together it normally works out. I don’t take it as a compliment to me. We have a big group of people working together and working hard.

“I have done some seminars for the Scottish FA. I have been at the annual meeting, talking about the Icelandic youth structure and so on. Scotland and Iceland have good cooperation. But there has been no contact whatsoever.

Hallgrimsson, though, admitted it is an attractive job. “Scotland is always one of the strong football nations,” he said. “There is a lot of tradition around them. There is always a good atmosphere in Scotland. It is a wonderful football country. I will definitely come to Scotland to watch Kari Arnason play for Aberdeen before the World Cup. But we watch him regularly on the TV.”

Lagerback, the former Sweden manager who is now in charge of Norway, has also been linked with the Scotland job. Now 69, it is unlikely he will be approached. But he believes they could do far worse than target his former associate Hallgrimsson.

“I heard that Scotland didn’t have a new manager,” he said. “It would be interesting and nice to be in Scotland. I have always liked it. But, no, I don’t think so.

“But Heimir would definitely be a good choice. You can see the job he has done. He would be a good appointment. I recommend him.”