Martin O'Neill will not make a return to the Premier League after reportedly turning down the chance to take the reins at Stoke City.

According to Luke Edwards of the Telegraph, the Derryman has rejected the Potters' offer following lengthy negotiations.

He now intends to remain at the helm with the Republic of Ireland and train his focus on building towards qualification for Euro 2020.

It's the latest twist in a protracted saga.

On Friday it seemed that Espanyol manager Quique Sanchez Flores was ready to fill the void left by Mark Hughes and take on the challenge of keeping Stoke - currently 18th - in the division.

However, he then committed himself to the La Liga outfit, leaving O'Neill as the clear favourite for the post.

Speculation was rife that O'Neill and his assistant Roy Keane were ready to walk away from Ireland, but that now looks like it will not materialise.

O'Neill - and the FAI - still have some awkward questions to answer.

As rumours swirled that the 65-year-old was close to joining Stoke despite having a verbal agreement with the association to stay on as Ireland boss, reports also emerged that he had been in the running to take over at Everton before Sam Allardyce got the nod.

Ireland's next game is a March friendly in Turkey.