Former West Ham boss Slaven Bilic is not being considered for the vacant manager’s job at Stoke, Sky Sports reports.
Despite being joint-favourite with most bookmakers, it is now clear Bilic is not in the running.
The 49-year-old was sacked by West Ham following a poor start to the season which saw them win only two of their opening 11 Premier League matches.
Martin O’Neill is still a strong contender, but there are other candidates who owners Peter and John Coates are looking at.
Sky Sports reports Stoke are considering asking O’Neill to take the job on a short-term basis so that they can make a more considered, long-term appointment in the summer.
However, it is not clear whether O’Neill would be happy with that arrangement. He has a verbal agreement with the FAI to continue as Republic of Ireland manager until the end of the 2020 European Championships.
It is now a real possibility that Stoke will not have a permanent manager in place for the Monday Night Football fixture against Manchester United.