Exclusive: Leading candidate for Scotland job named as SFA eyes 52y/o to replace Steve Clarke

Derek McInnes and Steve Clarke, Scotland

Steve Clarke is facing an uncertain future as Scotland boss

The Scottish Football Association (SFA) must decide whether to keep Steve Clarke as manager of the national men’s team, and TEAMtalk can reveal that Derek McInnes is being lined up as a replacement in case the 60-year-old is sacked.

Euro 2024 is well underway and some sides are already out of the competition, including Scotland, who crashed out in the group stage following Kevin Csoboth’s late winner for Hungary on Sunday. Scotland’s performance has been heavily criticised and blame has landed at the feet of manager Clarke.

He has helped Scotland reach the last two Euros and there is no doubt he deserves praise for the job he has done up to this point. However, fans have been left underwhelmed and unimpressed by Scotland’s tournament performances under Clarke. Indeed, they have barely left a mark and only scored three goals in the process.

There is plenty of speculation over Clarke’s future and sources state that one name circulating around the SFA is a leading candidate to take over. That man is Kilmarnock boss McInnes, who will be given an opportunity to manage his country if Clarke is axed.

The former Aberdeen man is someone who is held in high regard in Scottish football and the success he has brought to The Dons and Kilmarnock makes him a standout if Clarke and Scotland part ways. McInnes has also taken Aberdeen to multiple cup finals and seen his Killie side defeat Rangers and Celtic in the most recent club campaign.

There would be question marks over the fact he is known for being a pragmatic manager, and there may be concerns over whether he would get the best out of the attackers in the squad. The lack of bite in the final third is what cost Scotland in Euro 2024, and fans want their side to be taken in a new direction.

It is not yet known if McInnes, 52, would leave his current post for the Scotland job but an approach from his country would clearly be hard to ignore. David Moyes is also being mentioned as a candidate due to the fact he is out of work, and sources have confirmed to TEAMtalk that he would be interested in the role.

On Monday, Moyes attempted to cool speculation about him replacing Clarke by hinting that both managers may need to take a break from the game due to the stress involved.

Moyes added that ex-West Bromwich Albion boss Clarke has done a ‘fantastic job’ with Scotland, while former striker Ally McCoist has sent the SFA advice on what they must not do this summer.

READ MORE: Early frontrunner for Scotland job speaks out, as McCoist advises SFA on Steve Clarke future