Health Care

Going...Going... Gone? Martin O'Neill holds talks with Stoke City

Going...Going... Gone? Martin O'Neill holds talks with Stoke City”

He has been strongly linked with the Stoke job and the Irish Independent has reported that his Ireland assistant manager will join him should be make the move.

"It's like being engaged - you shouldn't be going out with other people".

Quique Sanchez Flores has emerged as the front-runner to be the next Stoke City manager.

On January 12, O'Neill will return to Dublin, having still not signed that contract, after meeting with Stoke City officials this week regarding their vacant manager's position.

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.

It means O'Neill doesn't need permission to talk to interested parties, nor would the FAI be entitled to any compensation.

"I can't think of any other Association that would allow their manager to stall in this way", Dunphy told News At One on RTÉ Radio 1.

O'Neill's decision in 2016 to delay by five months the signing of his new contract suggested the Derry man had a penchant for working to his pace but this latest prevarication always carried the threat of blowing up in the face of his employers.

O'Neill had come under for some serious criticism for the facile display against Denmark in the second leg playoff at the Aviva Stadium back in November and that may motivate O'Neill to look to pastures new rather than attempting to guide the Republic of Ireland to the European Championships in 2020.

RTE pundit Dunphy has been critical of O'Neill in the past but this time has taken aim at the association.

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