MARTIN O'NEILL met with Stoke bosses over the prospect of replacing Mark Hughes, according to reports.
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.
The Irish Independent report that former Sunderland manager O'Neill was set to meet with Stoke top brass last night.
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.
That is despite the fact he is still operating as Ireland manager.
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The Irish Independent does, however, speculate that, should the package at Stoke fail to find room for Keane, he will remain with the FAI and another of the Irish backroom staff - Steves Guppy, Walford or Seamus McDonagh - will join O'Neill. It appears that O'Neill, whilst having agreed a contract with the FAI was still open to offers from others.
The Bet365 Stadium hierarchy had initially wanted Gary Rowett only for the Derby County boss to sign a new deal at Pride Park, but there would be no such issues with O'Neill since he has not yet put pen to paper on a new contract with the Football Association of Ireland and his last one has now expired.
'Martin O'Neill has agreed a contract extension and will continue as the Republic of Ireland manager for the EURO 2020 campaign!' - A tweet from the FAI's account read on October 5..
RTE pundit Dunphy has been critical of O'Neill in the past but this time has taken aim at the association.
O'Neill's decision in 2016 to delay by five months the signing of his new contract suggested the Derry man had a penchant for working to his pace but this latest prevarication always carried the threat of blowing up in the face of his employers.