O’neill ready to join Stoke
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.