Stoke next manager: Martin O'Neill rejects Potters in another embarrassing twist

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Martin O'Neill looks set not to honour a contract that he has not fully agreed and is reportedly set to take the manager's job at Stoke City.

O'Neill - and the FAI - still have some awkward questions to answer however.

Former Watford manager Quique Sanchez Flores has also been linked this week but the Potters board will have to negotiate a fee with Spanish side Espanyol given that he is still under contract with them until summer 2019.

O'Neill's assistant Roy Keane and his backroom team are expected to join him at the Bet365 Stadium should talks conclude successfully in the coming days.

O'Neill has never hid his interest in returning to the Premier League circuit and it is believed he has conveyed that stance to the Stoke hierarchy.

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Stoke terminated the contract of Mark Hughes after they were eliminated from the FA Cup in a 2-1 loss to League Two side Coventry City.

He now intends to remain at the helm with the Republic of Ireland and train his focus on building towards qualification for Euro 2020.

Ireland may have only friendlies scheduled until the Uefa Nations Cup kicks off in September, yet the financial risk of losing their Premier League status means the new manager's focus can not be distracted by extra-curricular activities.

The FAI insisted that yesterday was no different to any other day, and that O'Neill would be flying to the UEFA Nations League draw later this month as Irish manager.

Stoke, who are third from bottom of the table, have worked tirelessly over the last 72 hours to try persuade the 65-year-old to end his four-year reign as the Republic of Ireland manager and appeared to have secured chairman Peter Coates' first-choice target.

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