Report: Stoke to meet with O’Neill over managerial vacancy

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Stoke City will meet will Ireland manager Martin O’Neill on Thursday to discuss the Premier League club’s managerial vacancy after firing Mark Hughes on Saturday, according to a report from the Independent.

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O’Neill, who’s under contract to manage the Boys in Green through the summer, appears to be the Potter’s first fallback option after Gary Rowett passed on the position with Derby County in hot pursuit of promotion from the Championship (the Rams currently sit second, after 26 of 46 rounds).

The Stoke board’s aim is to have the new manager appointed and in charge for Monday’s trip to Old Trafford, where they’ll face second-place Manchester United (Watch live, 3 p.m. ET, on NBCSN and NBCSports.com).

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O’Neill hasn’t managed a club team since 2013, when he was sacked by relegation-threatened Sunderland in late March. Under his leadership, Ireland qualified for EURO 2016 and reached the round of 16, before losing out to Denmark in the qualification playoff for the 2018 World Cup.

No word, as of yet, whether or not Roy Keane, O’Neill’s trusty and combustible assistant manager, would join him if a move to the bet365 Stadium were to materialize.