Espanyol boss Flores rules himself out of Stoke running


Espanyol boss Flores rules himself out of Stoke running

It is believed O'Neill is prepared to resign from his Ireland post rather adopt the job-sharing arrangement that had been floated as a compromise to appease the FAI. 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.

Stoke had hoped to have their new manager in place for the Premier League game against Manchester United on Monday, but that now looks unlikely.

While the Stoke board are disposed to widening their search to include the likes of Espanyol boss Quique Sanchez Flores, the team's position in the relegation zone means a swift appointment is desirable.

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.

The Potters are looking to bring in a replacement for Mark Hughes after he was axed following a dismal Premier League run and subsequent FA Cup exit at the hands of League Two Coventry City last Saturday.

The 65-year-old fits the bill because of his experience at top-flight level and the fact he has always been held in high regard by the Stoke hierarchy.

And the Derryman will be joined by his assistant Roy Keane and backroom staff Steve Guppy, Steve Walford and Seamus McDonagh.

Still, it would be a surprise if the manager didn't keep Delaney informed of yesterday's developments. The contract was agreed in principle, but O'Neill delayed.

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

The Irish manager was then stung by criticism in the aftermath of the crushing World Cup play-off defeat to Denmark at Lansdowne Road only a month later.