Wednesday 19 December 2018

Stoke in limbo after Martin O'Neill becomes latest manager to turn job down

Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill will not be Stoke's next boss
Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill will not be Stoke's next boss

Stoke's search for a new manager has been plunged into chaos after Martin O'Neill rejected the chance to take over.

The Republic of Ireland boss had been the Potters' latest target to replace the sacked Mark Hughes.

But Press Association Sport understands he will not be moving to the bet365 Stadium, meaning the club have failed to attract their top three targets.

They could now look at a short-term solution and make an appointment until the end of the season as the Potters battle to stay in the Premier League.

Stoke moved for O'Neill after Quique Sanchez Flores chose to stay at Espanyol and Derby boss Gary Rowett signed a new contract at the Sky Bet Championship club.

O'Neill is now expected to stay with Ireland despite their failure to reach this year's World Cup.

He has reportedly agreed a two-year deal to stay on following November's play-off defeat to Denmark.

It leaves Premier League strugglers Stoke in limbo in their hunt for a new boss having initially been hopeful of making appointment before Monday's trip to Manchester United.

The Potters have slipped into the relegation zone after a run of just two wins in 12 Premier League matches and Hughes was sacked after a shock 2-1 FA Cup defeat at Sky Bet League Two Coventry.

Coach Eddie Niedzwiecki has been in temporary charge since Hughes' departure, taking training ahead of Monday's game, and will pick the team at Old Trafford.

Slaven Bilic, Paul Lambert and Gary Megson have all previously been linked to the role and Stoke need to assess their options as they go back to the drawing board.

Press Association

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