IAN Maxwell, the SFA chief executive, has revealed he is poised to open talks with Steve Clarke, the Scotland manager, about a new deal.

Clarke, whose side take on the Netherlands in Portugal in their first pre-Euro 2020 friendly tomorrow evening, is currently under contract until the Qatar 2022 finals.

But Maxwell is keen to hold onto the ex-Kilmarnock and West Brom manager, who has been heavily linked with Celtic this year, so he can build on the success he has enjoyed to date.

The 57-year-old led the national team to a dramatic penalty shoot-out victory over Serbia in the Euro 2020 play-off final in Belgrade back in November to end a 23 year wait to reach a major tournament.

"I think he's contracted until the end of the World Cup finals, which are in December ‘22,” said Maxwell. “But absolutely we'll be talking about that (a new deal). We want to keep him. We are absolutely delighted with the job he has done.

"We'll see how far we get in the Euros and we want to qualify for the World Cup in 2022 and hopefully he's the Scotland manager for a long time to come and we keep qualifying for tournaments."

Maxwell felt Clarke being linked with Celtic after Neil Lennon resigned back in February was an indication of how well the former Newcastle United, Chelsea and Liverpool assistant had done with Scotland.

He is hoping that his compatriot can achieve his objective at the Euro 2020 finals this month – he wants to lead the country into the knockout round for the first time in their history – even if it generates more interest in him.

“If people are talking about that I'm delighted because when was the last time people were talking about a Scotland manager moving on in a positive sense?” he said. "He's done fantastically well. We wanted to qualify and that's what he's done.

“I'm totally sure he will lead us on to Qatar and hopefully he does that off the back of getting out the group, making the last 16 or the last eight - hopefully we get as far as we possibly can and enjoy it."

Maxwell continued: "I remember saying at the time that we wanted a manager who could make a Pot 4 team and Pot 2 team. That's what he did.

"He showed at Kilmarnock, where they finished third, that he could go to big stadiums like Celtic Park and Ibrox and got results.

"That's what he had to do for us. Give them a shape, a belief and a desire that we could get results against the better teams.

"The positivity going into the Serbia game showed that he'd done that. If you'd said to people before he was appointed that we were going to have beat Serbia away to get to the Euros, everybody would have been saying: 'What's the point? We're not going to do that?'

"But we went into that game with everybody confident we were going to get something out of it. He's been a terrific appointment and we are really looking forward to the finals."