O’neill ready to join Stoke

The Daily Telegraph - Sport - - Sport Football -

North­ern Ire­land man­ager Michael O’neill is un­der­stood to have agreed to take over as man­ager of the Sky Bet Cham­pi­onship’s base­ment side, Stoke City.

The Irish Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion gave per­mis­sion to Stoke to speak to the 50-year-old and talks went well. The IFA will re­ceive com­pen­sa­tion for the loss of his ser­vices af­ter his eight years in charge.

O’neill is ex­pected to be in the Stoke dugout for to­mor­row’s crunch game away to fel­low strug­glers Barns­ley and then head back to North­ern Ire­land to take charge of their re­main­ing Euro 2020 qual­i­fiers, against Hol­land on Nov 16 and away to Ger­many three days later, be­fore de­vot­ing him­self fully to his new po­si­tion, which will mean he dou­bles his cur­rent £750,000 salary.

His de­par­ture will be a blow for North­ern Ire­land, whom he took to the Euro 2016 fi­nals. But Stoke, who last week dis­missed Nathan Jones, will be hop­ing that O’neill, their fifth man­ager in two tur­bu­lent years as they dropped out of the Premier League in 2018, will be able to bring about a rapid trans­for­ma­tion in the club’s for­tunes.

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