Keane linked to Stoke switch along with O'Neill

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

Stoke are thought to be reluctant to bring in O'Neill unless he resigns from his Ireland post after four years in charge; there is no chance of "double-jobbing" in the short-term.

Kilbane said: "The criticism he received after that Denmark game, that's certainly got to play on his mind".

Hughes was just the second manager in the hotseat after Tony Pulis since Coates bought the club in 2005 for the second time and their reputation for displaying patience with managers was demonstrated by not firing the Welshman until Saturday's humiliating FA Cup Third Round defeat at fourth-tier Coventry City.

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

John Fallon adds that O'Neill's current Ireland assistant Keane would be likely to join him in Staffordshire.

O'Neill verbally agreed a new two year deal before last October's World Cup qualifier against Wales, but much like his previous extension, O'Neill was slow to put pen to paper and the contract was never signed with the FAI.

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

If O'Neill had taken the job, he would have been free to walk away without the FAI reeceiving 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.

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. The contract was agreed in principle, but O'Neill delayed. At the start of 2018, these latest developments indicate the only contract poised to be inked by O'Neill are those belonging to Stoke City.

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