The Scottish Football Association has made an official approach for Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill, Press Association Sport understands.
O'Neill has emerged as the leading contender to replace Gordon Strachan after guiding his team to the second round of Euro 2016 and the recent World Cup play-offs.
The ball is now in the court of the Irish Football Association, which has O'Neill under contract until the end of the next European Championship campaign.
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Scottish Football Association chief executive Stewart Regan has ruled Malky Mackay out of the running to be the next permanent Scotland manager.
Mackay was handed the reins on a caretaker basis after Gordon Strachan lost his job last month, but is set to return to his role as SFA performance director after facing Holland in a friendly.
Regan had already stated Mackay could not do both jobs on a longer-term basis but has now declared the former Cardiff manager will not be switching roles.
When asked if Mackay was a genuine contender, Regan told talkSPORT radio: "No, Malky and I have discussed this. He's got a big job on his hands, he's said that himself. He's been asked by the board to take charge for one game and that's what he's doing. He's very proud to lead his country."
Regan is in no hurry to find a long-term successor to Strachan, who departed despite being unbeaten in 2017 after Scotland finished third in their World Cup qualifying group.
"We have got a very long list of candidates, as you can imagine for an opportunity like this," he said.
"We don't have a competitive game until next September and therefore this is not something we need to rush into. We are going to take our time, we're going to consider the candidates and we're going to try to identify the person we believe can lead us to Euro 2020.
"There's lots of people that have put their name in the frame - out-of-work managers and a number of managers who are already under contract. We've had a lot of interest in the job.
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Scotland skipper Greig Laidlaw has been ruled out of the Dark Blues' autumn Tests after fracturing his ankle, his club side Clermont Auvergne have announced.
The former Edinburgh and Gloucester scrum-half suffered the injury during the French outfit's Champions Cup clash with Ospreys on Sunday.
Although he does not require surgery, Laidlaw has been told he faces 10 to 12 weeks out of action - meaning he will play no part as Gregor Townsend's Scots host Samoa, New Zealand and Australia at BT Murrayfield next month.
He is expected to return to action, however, in time to lead out Scotland for their RBS 6 Nations opener against Wales in Cardiff at the start of February.
It has not been confirmed whether his most recent injury is to the same joint he damaged during this year's Championships.
He tore ankle ligaments in his side's defeat to France in Paris and has not pulled on a dark blue strip since. He missed Scotland's summer Asia-Pacific tour after being called up for duty with the British and Irish Lions on their trip to New Zealand.