Stoke City make official approach to appoint Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill.

Stoke City have made an official approach to the Irish Football Association to appoint Michael O’Neill as their new manager.

The Northern Ireland boss has been in charge at international level for eight years, taking his side to Euro 2016 and being in with a chance of reaching Euro 2020, too.

Stoke dismissed Nathan Jones at the start of November and sit bottom of the Championship, with just two wins and eight points from their 15 games this season.

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O’Neill has yet to manage in the English football league, with his previous club roles coming at Brechin in Scotland and Shamrock Rovers in Ireland. As a player, he featured for the likes of Newcastle, Coventry and Wigan in England.

The IFA have confirmed that Stoke have requested permission to speak to O’Neill and it is understood that discussions are underway regarding compensation amounts.

Euro 2020 power rankings

Show all 31

How far will England go?
30. Kosovo
29. Albania
28. Northern Ireland

Euro 2020 power rankings

How far will England go?

1/31 How far will England go?

We size up the qualifying candidates for the European Championships so far.

Getty Images

30. Kosovo

2/31 30. Kosovo

If they manage to fall short of the Czechs in Group A, then Kosovo should make the cut through the play-offs. A potential surprise package in the making.

Action Images via Reuters

29. Albania

3/31 29. Albania

A team with great spirit who, if they make it, can bless the Euros with impressive performances but will be outclassed by the bigger sides.

REUTERS

28. Northern Ireland

4/31 28. Northern Ireland

After matching Germany in qualification, they are on route to being the underdogs of 2020 and you can expect them to take the opportunity to impress with both hands.

Getty Images

27. Finland

5/31 27. Finland

Everyone wants to see Teemu Pukki in the finals. It would be a great accolade for a country with the population of only five million people.

AFP/Getty Images

26. Norway

6/31 26. Norway

They are challenging to accompany Spain out of Group F, but it doesn’t look likely their claim to be included in the finals will be taken seriously. The play-offs are their only hope.

Getty Images

25. Iceland

7/31 25. Iceland

Who doesn’t want the famous clap at Euro 2020? They are still defeating the odds, and could sneak their way into 2020 and bring their undying spirit with them.

REUTERS

24. Hungary

8/31 24. Hungary

Another team on the periphery of qualification. Just making the cut would be a huge achievement.

REUTERS

23. Czech Republic

9/31 23. Czech Republic

They are favourites to accompany England out of Group A, but their defensive woes could be exploited if they make it to the finals.

REUTERS

22. Bosnia & Herzegovina

10/31 22. Bosnia & Herzegovina

Having never qualified for the Euros, it would be a recreation of the 2014 World Cup if they do end up qualifying. The odds are stacked against them, but they have a solid chance through the play-offs.

Getty

21. Slovenia

11/31 21. Slovenia

If they scrape into the finals, it is clear it would only be a result of fortuitously being placed in Group G in qualifying.

AFP/Getty Images

20. Republic of Ireland

12/31 20. Republic of Ireland

Martin O’Neil’s men have a chance of reaching the finals in 2020, and if they do I am sure their manager has a defensive masterclass up his sleeve to see them into the knockout stages.

Action Images via Reuters

19. Wales

13/31 19. Wales

If they get their act together, Wales could imitate their 2016 heroics. However, they have to turn things around quickly in qualifying if they are to do so.

Getty Images

18. Turkey

14/31 18. Turkey

They always do well against the teams within their remit, but when exposed to quality they crumble. It all depends on who they are matched with in the group stage.

REUTERS

17. Sweden

15/31 17. Sweden

The post-Ibra era has looked promising as they reached the World Cup quarter-finals, but it clear from qualifying that it was their peak.

Getty Images

16. Serbia

16/31 16. Serbia

Their mental resolute gives them a chance. They have a few good individuals in their ranks and if they perform they will have a chance of reaching the knockout stages.

REUTERS

15. Austria

17/31 15. Austria

They are not stacked with quality but have a blueprint which allows them to do well. They will be a tough opponent to whoever shares a group with them.

Getty Images

14. Ukraine

18/31 14. Ukraine

Another team who thrive off team spirit. They have taken Group B by the scuff of the neck and should repeat more of the same in 2020.

REUTERS

13. Switzerland

19/31 13. Switzerland

They are still to find momentum in qualifying, but if they scrape through their experience trumps their recent form.

Getty Images

12. Denmark

20/31 12. Denmark

The Danes are not stacked with quality but they do possess a great team spirit which should see them through to the knockout stages.

AP

11. Poland

21/31 11. Poland

Lewandowski’s goals will certainly help them along the way, but the lack of quality elsewhere on the field does not see them past the last 16.

Getty Images

10. Russia

22/31 10. Russia

The dark horses. They shocked many in the World Cup, and have followed that up with an outstanding qualifying campaign. Don’t be surprised if they do it again.

Sergei Bobylev/TASS

9. Croatia

23/31 9. Croatia

Their 2018 heroics seemed to have the sucked the life out of them in qualifying. It would be rare if such feat is replicated in in 2020.

Getty Images

8. Portugal

24/31 8. Portugal

The defending champions have built on their success by winning the Nations League and you would not rebuff the possibility of them scraping their way to the final again.

AP

7. Italy

25/31 7. Italy

The robust defence Italy possess stand them in good stead to go far. It is just the scoring goals part of the game which they need to brush up on.

Getty Images

6. Netherlands

26/31 6. Netherlands

Ronald Koeman has spear headed Holland’s redemption, and any team with van Dijk in their ranks has a chance of winning anything.

EPA

5. Germany

27/31 5. Germany

After Low’s clear out, Germany’s young squad could follow the Die Mannschaft blueprint of reaching finals if they can recapture that winning formula.

Getty Images

4. Spain

28/31 4. Spain

After an embarrassing World Cup, the Spaniards will be looking to show a break from the past in the Euros as a refreshed squad and a new manager will take the competition head on.

Getty Images

3. Belgium

29/31 3. Belgium

Belgium’s star studded squad will be hoping that their golden generation take their final chance of attaining silverware before age starts to take its toll.

EPA

2. England

30/31 2. England

England find themselves in great shape headlining into 2020. Their stars will be reaching their peak while their young guns will be looking to showcase their raw talent.

Southampton FC via Getty Images

1. France

31/31 1. France

Being World champions, Les Blues head into Euro 2020 being firm favourites with a roster of talent for Didier Deschamps to choose from.

Getty Images

How far will England go?

1/31 How far will England go?

We size up the qualifying candidates for the European Championships so far.

Getty Images

30. Kosovo

2/31 30. Kosovo

If they manage to fall short of the Czechs in Group A, then Kosovo should make the cut through the play-offs. A potential surprise package in the making.

Action Images via Reuters

29. Albania

3/31 29. Albania

A team with great spirit who, if they make it, can bless the Euros with impressive performances but will be outclassed by the bigger sides.

REUTERS

28. Northern Ireland

4/31 28. Northern Ireland

After matching Germany in qualification, they are on route to being the underdogs of 2020 and you can expect them to take the opportunity to impress with both hands.

Getty Images

27. Finland

5/31 27. Finland

Everyone wants to see Teemu Pukki in the finals. It would be a great accolade for a country with the population of only five million people.

AFP/Getty Images

26. Norway

6/31 26. Norway

They are challenging to accompany Spain out of Group F, but it doesn’t look likely their claim to be included in the finals will be taken seriously. The play-offs are their only hope.

Getty Images

25. Iceland

7/31 25. Iceland

Who doesn’t want the famous clap at Euro 2020? They are still defeating the odds, and could sneak their way into 2020 and bring their undying spirit with them.

REUTERS

24. Hungary

8/31 24. Hungary

Another team on the periphery of qualification. Just making the cut would be a huge achievement.

REUTERS

23. Czech Republic

9/31 23. Czech Republic

They are favourites to accompany England out of Group A, but their defensive woes could be exploited if they make it to the finals.

REUTERS

22. Bosnia & Herzegovina

10/31 22. Bosnia & Herzegovina

Having never qualified for the Euros, it would be a recreation of the 2014 World Cup if they do end up qualifying. The odds are stacked against them, but they have a solid chance through the play-offs.

Getty

21. Slovenia

11/31 21. Slovenia

If they scrape into the finals, it is clear it would only be a result of fortuitously being placed in Group G in qualifying.

AFP/Getty Images

20. Republic of Ireland

12/31 20. Republic of Ireland

Martin O’Neil’s men have a chance of reaching the finals in 2020, and if they do I am sure their manager has a defensive masterclass up his sleeve to see them into the knockout stages.

Action Images via Reuters

19. Wales

13/31 19. Wales

If they get their act together, Wales could imitate their 2016 heroics. However, they have to turn things around quickly in qualifying if they are to do so.

Getty Images

18. Turkey

14/31 18. Turkey

They always do well against the teams within their remit, but when exposed to quality they crumble. It all depends on who they are matched with in the group stage.

REUTERS

17. Sweden

15/31 17. Sweden

The post-Ibra era has looked promising as they reached the World Cup quarter-finals, but it clear from qualifying that it was their peak.

Getty Images

16. Serbia

16/31 16. Serbia

Their mental resolute gives them a chance. They have a few good individuals in their ranks and if they perform they will have a chance of reaching the knockout stages.

REUTERS

15. Austria

17/31 15. Austria

They are not stacked with quality but have a blueprint which allows them to do well. They will be a tough opponent to whoever shares a group with them.

Getty Images

14. Ukraine

18/31 14. Ukraine

Another team who thrive off team spirit. They have taken Group B by the scuff of the neck and should repeat more of the same in 2020.

REUTERS

13. Switzerland

19/31 13. Switzerland

They are still to find momentum in qualifying, but if they scrape through their experience trumps their recent form.

Getty Images

12. Denmark

20/31 12. Denmark

The Danes are not stacked with quality but they do possess a great team spirit which should see them through to the knockout stages.

AP

11. Poland

21/31 11. Poland

Lewandowski’s goals will certainly help them along the way, but the lack of quality elsewhere on the field does not see them past the last 16.

Getty Images

10. Russia

22/31 10. Russia

The dark horses. They shocked many in the World Cup, and have followed that up with an outstanding qualifying campaign. Don’t be surprised if they do it again.

Sergei Bobylev/TASS

9. Croatia

23/31 9. Croatia

Their 2018 heroics seemed to have the sucked the life out of them in qualifying. It would be rare if such feat is replicated in in 2020.

Getty Images

8. Portugal

24/31 8. Portugal

The defending champions have built on their success by winning the Nations League and you would not rebuff the possibility of them scraping their way to the final again.

AP

7. Italy

25/31 7. Italy

The robust defence Italy possess stand them in good stead to go far. It is just the scoring goals part of the game which they need to brush up on.

Getty Images

6. Netherlands

26/31 6. Netherlands

Ronald Koeman has spear headed Holland’s redemption, and any team with van Dijk in their ranks has a chance of winning anything.

EPA

5. Germany

27/31 5. Germany

After Low’s clear out, Germany’s young squad could follow the Die Mannschaft blueprint of reaching finals if they can recapture that winning formula.

Getty Images

4. Spain

28/31 4. Spain

After an embarrassing World Cup, the Spaniards will be looking to show a break from the past in the Euros as a refreshed squad and a new manager will take the competition head on.

Getty Images

3. Belgium

29/31 3. Belgium

Belgium’s star studded squad will be hoping that their golden generation take their final chance of attaining silverware before age starts to take its toll.

EPA

2. England

30/31 2. England

England find themselves in great shape headlining into 2020. Their stars will be reaching their peak while their young guns will be looking to showcase their raw talent.

Southampton FC via Getty Images

1. France

31/31 1. France

Being World champions, Les Blues head into Euro 2020 being firm favourites with a roster of talent for Didier Deschamps to choose from.

Getty Images

Stoke have already been denied the chance to appoint Alex Neil by current club Preston, with an approach rejected soon after Jones’ departure.

The Potters were relegated from the Premier League at the end of the 2017/18 season and finished 16th in the second tier last term.

Northern Ireland face Netherlands and Germany in two Euro 2020 qualifiers across the upcoming international break, for which O’Neill has already named his squad.

Stoke play Barnsley in the Championship on Saturday, before the two-week break.

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