Martin O'Neill turns down Stoke City

Martin O'Neill turns down Stoke City

Martin O'Neill turns down Stoke City

It seems highly unlikely that O'Neill would get an initial five-year term and the members of the Stoke board who preferred Gary Rowett and then Sanchez Flores may yet prove resistant to anything more than a fairly short term deal.

It's been reported that Stoke very much want O'Neill and Keane as a duo, but that the FAI would try and tempt Keane to stay on and take the top job. This is consistent with reports close to O'Neill after the 5-1 defeat to Denmark, which claimed that Keane may choose to stick by O'Neill's side should the Derryman land another club management gig.

It is now a straight choice between Ireland's Martin O'Neill and Espanyol's to be the next manager, as the club held further discussions on Thursday.

It now appears that the Republic of Ireland manager will remain with the national team.

Stoke, who travel to Manchester United in a 20:00 GMT kick-off on Monday, are 18th in the Premier League table, one point from safety.

The Irish boss looks likeliest to take over due to the fact he has yet to sign a new contract with the Football Association of Ireland, although Flores is weighing up what is said to have been a persuasive offer from the Stoke delegation that met him.

Stoke have not beaten United in any competitions at Old Trafford since April 1976.

O'Neill has turned down the chance to take up the vacancy at the bet365 Stadium to continue as Republic of Ireland manager.

He verbally agreed a new contract with Ireland before that November loss but was stung by the criticism that followed and made a decision to delay signing it.

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