Ian Baraclough is in talks over a new contract to remain as Northern Ireland manager after the Irish FA board unanimously agreed he should stay in the job.

The 50-year-old is nearing the end of the 18-month deal he signed last summer to replace Michael O'Neill.

An Irish FA statement said: "The Irish FA board has unanimously agreed to extend the contract of senior men's international manager, Ian Baraclough. Contract negotiations are under way."

A contract extension which had looked a formality in September came into question after defeats to Switzerland and Bulgaria this month ended hopes of qualifying for the Qatar World Cup, but Baraclough retains strong support at Windsor Park.

The former under-21 manager has won only four of his 18 games in charge, suffering disappointment in both the bid to reach Euro 2020 and next year's World Cup, but he has successfully integrated a number of younger players into the first team while dealing with several injury setbacks.

Baraclough had made it clear he wanted to stay in the job, feeling he had only begun the work of introducing a new generation of talent, while several players spoke up in support of the manager during the last two international windows.

He managed Sligo Rovers to a league title in 2012, as well an FAI Cup the following season, and also spent on to roles at Motherwell and Oldham.