SFA line Burley up as new Scotland boss

FORMER Ipswich Town manager George Burley is expected to be asked to become Scotland's new manager today.The Scottish Football Association are poised to hammer out a compensation offer with the former Town and Scotland defender's present club Southampton as they seek to end their search for a replacement for Alex McLeish, who is now at Premier League Birmingham City.

FORMER Ipswich Town manager George Burley is expected to be asked to become Scotland's new manager today.

The Scottish Football Association are poised to hammer out a compensation offer with the former Town and Scotland defender's present club Southampton as they seek to end their search for a replacement for Alex McLeish, who is now at Premier League Birmingham City.

Motherwell manager Mark McGhee, who was one of the four shortlisted candidates for the post, told

BBC Radio Scotland: “All I can say is congratulations to George. I think he will be a terrific Scotland manager and I will do all I can to help him.

“I remain very proud to have been considered and if George does not win the World Cup then it opens it up for me to be one who does”.

Reports suggest that former England and Tottenham manager Glenn Hoddle is being lined up as Burley's replacement at St Mary's.

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Burley had been shortlisted by the SFA along with McGhee, former Newcastle manager Graeme Souness and Celtic first-team coach Tommy Burns.

Southampton last night recognised there was every chance of an SFA approach for Burley, although they were still waiting to hear from Hampden chiefs.

Providing the SFA board ratify the panel's decision, Ayrshire born Burley will be the man asked to lead Scotland to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Scotland have not qualified for a major tournament since reaching the 1998 World Cup.

Burley's term at Portman Road is the most impressive phase of his managerial career. Having won promotion via the division one play-offs at Wembley in 2000, he led Town to fifth place in the Premiership the following season, securing a UEFA Cup place. The club, however, were relegated the following season and Burley left Portman Road in 2003.

Burley also impressed in a brief stint as Hearts boss in 2005, which ended due to “irreconcilable differences” between the 51-year-old and the Tynecastle board.

Cumnock-born has also bossed Ayr, Colchester and Derby, and he won 11 caps for Scotland as a defender from 1979 to 1982.

He said at the weekend: “It is a great honour that Scotland asked to speak to me.

“There is a lot to consider. I am very happy at Southampton but if your country asks to speak to you then it is only right to do so.”

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