MICHAEL O’Neill is capable of resurrecting the fortunes of Rangers – and would consider a return to club management after six years in charge of Northern Ireland.

That was the prediction of Sammy McIlroy, the Manchester United and Northern Ireland great, last night in the wake of his national team’s narrow Russia 2018 play-off defeat to Switzerland in Basel on Sunday evening.

O’Neill is one of the favourites to succeed Gordon Strachan as Scotland manager – but the odds on him being appointed at Ibrox have shortened following his side’s heartbreaking 1-0 loss to Switzerland over two legs.

The 48-year-old, who led his country to the knockout stages of the Euro 2016 finals in France last summer, was guarded about his future following the second leg in Basel on Sunday evening.

However, McIlroy, who spent three seasons as Northern Ireland manager himself, believes his compatriot, under contract with the IFA until 2020, may be tempted to go back into club football if an interested party was willing to pay the £750,000 it would cost to secure his services.

“There will be people out there looking at Michael O’Neill because he has done so well with Northern Ireland,” he said.

“I think the Everton job might be something that would appeal to him. I am sure that he can handle that now.

“The Rangers job is a massive job. Second place isn’t good enough for Glasgow Rangers. Rangers have got into such a state over the last few years. Whoever takes over, the fans have to realise they have got a huge rebuilding job on their hands.

“Michael would know he has one hell of a challenge to try and turn Rangers around. The club and the supporters are going to have to be patient whoever is going to be the next manager

“But he could handle it. In terms of his organisation, his commitment, his temperament, he could handle it. No problem.

“Glasgow Rangers is a massive challenge. But Michael living over there in Scotland will know that,” McIlroy added.