STEWART REGAN will today tell the Scottish Football Association board that the hunt for the next Scotland manager has had to go back to square one.

Michael O’Neill rejected the chance to take over from Gordon Strachan last week after a three-month pursuit preferring to remain as Northern Ireland manager.

He had been the top candidate from the outset however Herald 
Sport understands that the SFA’s original list of candidates is now out of date.

Some of those candidates who were courted are now unavailable having found other jobs during the time it took the SFA to speak to O’Neill while others have become available since the original list of potential managers was drafted.

The SFA is keen to ensure that they consider all potential options and are thorough with their due diligence which will push back the appointment of a new manager by weeks.

There is a recognition within the governing body that the decision is absolutely crucial after criticism by supporters and the media of the way in which the chief executive concentrated solely on one man during the recruitment process.

Gordon Strachan left his post as Scotland manager more than three months ago and the SFA agreed a compensation figure with the Irish Football Association to speak to Edinburgh-based O’Neill last month.

The 48-year-old then knocked back the job a week later, leaving the SFA and chief executive Regan in particular under fire and facing accusations of placing all of his eggs in the one basket.

They are keen to avoid that impression once more, and will take as much time as is needed to identify the right candidate. And they also want to be sure that the man they approach this time will definitely want to take the job should he be offered it.

Regan’s own position is understood not to be under scrutiny at the meeting, with the chief executive saying after O’Neill’s decision to reject the manager’s position: “My position is for our board to consider but I think we need to separate the reality from a lot of the media noise that goes on. And whilst I fully respect the frustrations of the supporters for not getting the person that we went after, as I said before we won’t be the last organisation not to get our target.

“I’m determined to get the right man to lead Scotland to Euro 2020 and that’s going to be at Hampden Park, it’s exciting for us and it’s a great opportunity.

“As I said, it’s not a matter for me. I’m in this job and I’m actually determined to get the right man to lead Scotland forward.”