No comment - O'Neill silent on Stoke speculation

Martin O'Neill

Martin O'Neill

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 undertook a similar tactic before signing his last contract with the FAI in September 2016, where 15 weeks had elapsed before he actually signed a new deal.

Martin O'Neill is Stoke's second-choice for the gig, and a report by Colin Young and Dan McDonnell in today's Irish Independent claims that O'Neill is going to meet the club for talks. While it was thought that Keane might stay with the FAI in a relatively smooth succession deal, the paper reports that Keane is likely to follow O'Neill across the water.

That is despite the fact he is still operating as Ireland manager.

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And now both the Irish Independent and Irish Examiner are reporting Ireland assistant manager Roy Keane is likely to join O'Neill if he moves to England.

O'Neill and Keane have worked together for Ireland since 2013 but did not manage to secure a spot at this summer's World Cup.

Should Keane not leave then Steve Walford, Steve Guppy and Seamus McDonagh are in contention for roles.

All of which leaves the FAI with a sense of regret at not nailing down O'Neill to the contract extension he verbally agreed to last October.

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It is also believed that O'Neill has only made a verbal agreement with the Football Association of Ireland to extend his contract to the Euro 2020 campaign.

He told RTE Radio 1: "It's embarrassing for the FAI".

Despite O'Neill taking time off for a holiday to reflect, fears of him walking away were allayed by his visit to the FAI headquarters before Christmas to plan for 2018 and attend the association's Christmas party.

O'Neill only has a verbal agreement in place with the FAI to remain in charge of the global team and it seems that Potters officials have identified the former Leicester City boss as their number one candidate.

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