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Burley for Scotland?
Burley to be offered Scotland job
Southampton manager George Burley
Burley has been struggling with finances at Southampton
Southampton's George Burley will be offered the Scotland manager's job on Wednesday, BBC Sport understands.

A Scottish Football Association spokesman would only confirm that its interview panel had decided on a preferred candidate.

And its board will be asked to ratify the decision on Wednesday.

The 51-year-old Burley became the odds-on favourite with bookmakers on Tuesday as news began to emerge that he was the preferred candidate.

Yet Burley had long been considered the outsider of the four men on the SFA's shortlist, which included Tommy Burns, Mark McGhee and Graeme Souness.

Burley was interviewed last week, along with former Liverpool and Rangers manager Souness and Motherwell boss McGhee, after Southampton reluctantly agreed to the SFA's request to speak to their manager.

If George does not win the World Cup then it opens it up for me to be one who does
Motherwell manager Mark McGhee

It had looked like Burns had ruled himself out after he indicated his reluctance to be interviewed for the post, but it was believed that the Celtic coach had sufficient contact to be still in the frame.

McGhee was disappointed to learn about Burley's likely appointment through the media but was philosophical about the decision.

"All I can say is congratulations to George," he told BBC Radio Scotland ahead of Motherwell's SPL match against Hearts on Wednesday night.

"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!"

Former Scotland international Pat Nevin is confident Burley's appointment is a step forward for Scottish football.

1956: Burley born in Cumnock, Ayrshire
1973: Makes debut for Ipswich Town
1979: Wins first of 11 Scotland caps
1991: Becomes player/manager at Ayr Utd
1994: Becomes manager at Ipswich, winning promotion to Premiership
2001: Leads Ipswich into Uefa Cup
2005:Appointed manager of Hearts by new owner Vladimir Romanov, Burley left after four months
2005: Takes over at Southampton

"Everyone in England knows what he has done - he has done a great job everywhere he has been," he told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"He is the only man who has recently come close to breaking the Old Firm stronghold with Hearts.

"If he had been given more time he would have taken Celtic and Rangers to the wire."

Meanwhile, Burley took his side's training as normal on Tuesday.

And the English Championship club maintained that they have heard nothing to suggest their manager is on his way north of the border.

Chairman Leon Crouch told the BBC that there will be no comment from the club until they hear from the SFA or Burley himself.

Burley has remained guarded about his intentions, stressing he is happy in his role on the south coast.

"It is a great honour that Scotland asked to speak to me," he said after Saturday's 1-1 draw with Plymouth.

"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."

Saints are struggling to mount a promotion push for the third straight year, while the club still lack the investment required to make a mark on the transfer market.

The former Ipswich, Derby and Hearts manager has been forced to sell stars such as Theo Walcott, Gareth Bale, Kenwyne Jones and Chris Baird since he took over from Harry Redknapp in December 2005.

And it appears he has found the pull of the Scotland job too strong to turn down.

SFA president George Peat has confirmed a meeting will be held on Tuesday to discuss the candidates.

The new manager's first game will be the 26 March friendly against Croatia at Hampden Park.
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