Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill has a clause in his contract that allows him to speak to any Premier League club if interested, as it’s revealed he was not just offered a short-term deal with Stoke City.

O’Neill has yet to sign his contract to stay for next two years but it is expected he will finally put pen to paper prior to the Nations League draw on 24 January.

Telegraph journalist Luke Edwards reported yesterday that Stoke had missed out on their target after a protracted pursuit.

He said: "He spoke to them and turned them down. A lot of it is genuinely to do that he enjoys his job with Ireland.

"The fact is if Stoke had spoken to him earlier in the week and it had been more clear cut then he could have been more open with the FAI about it all.

"He was aware of Stoke's interest and there had been preliminary talks. But in his own he decided he was staying with Ireland. Stoke made a renewed attempt over the weekend.

"My understanding is the FAI knew about it over the weekend"

"He was offered a substantial pay rise to take the Stoke job. I don't think it was a short-term deal on offer either. Martin is his own man, difficult to second guess and he just decided it wasn't for him for whatever reason. We're going to have to wait for him to explain that.

"My understanding is the FAI knew about it over the weekend.

"They were aware there was an approach from Stoke and my understanding is under the terms of his contract, whether it is signed or not, he is allowed to speak to Premier League clubs if they are interested in him as long he notifies the FAI. They have been kept in the loop from the beginning."

O’Neill is set to be in Dublin this week, including for a sponsorship event on Wednesday, and could sign his contract.