Michael O’Neill: Stoke seek permission to speak to Northern Ireland manager

Championship strugglers Stoke City have made an official approach for Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill.

The Potters, bottom of the table, are seeking a successor to Nathan Jones who was sacked on 1 November after just nine months in charge.

Former international player O’Neill, 50, has been NI boss for eight years, leading them to the Euro 2016 finals.

It is believed Stoke are negotiating with the Irish FA over how much compensation would have to be paid.

On Thursday, the IFA confirmed Stoke had sought permission to speak to O’Neill.

Shortly after dismissing Jones, Stoke asked to talk to Alex Neil, manager of Preston North End, but the request was turned down by their Championship rivals.

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It has been a difficult season so far for the Potters who have won just two league matches.

However, they have a number of well-known players such as internationals Jack Butland, Joe Allen and James McClean.

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