Martin O'Neill in talks with Stoke City

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

On Friday it seemed that Espanyol manager Quique Sanchez Flores was ready to fill the void left by Mark Hughes and take on the challenge of keeping Stoke - now 18th - in the division.

Coates, 80, has been handing over more responsibility to son John as he looks to take a back seat.

The Ireland manager has moved a step closer to replacing Mark Hughes, and Keane, his assistant, would join him.

The Potters have slipped into the relegation zone after a run of just two wins in 12 Premier League matches and Hughes was sacked after a shock 2-1 FA Cup defeat at Sky Bet League Two Coventry. "Everyone gave us no chance and a lot of people are judging him on the Denmark game, which was a awful result, but if you look at how we've done under him with Ireland I can only sing his praises".

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A three-judge bench comprising Chief Justice Justice Deepak Mishra, Justice AM Khan Khanwalkar and Justice D last month October. He claimed that the Centre's executive orders in this regard are not being followed, which justifies the court's intervention.

Other loyal members of his coaching staff, including Steve Guppy, Steve Walford, and goalkeeping coach Seamus McDonagh, are also set to follow O'Neill from the Ireland camp into the new adventure.

"Here I have all I need".

"Stoke have worked tirelessly over the past 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 got chairman Peter Coates' first-choice target".

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. 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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