Stoke City CONFIRM the appointment of Alex Neil as manager as Tony Mowbray heads to Sunderland – Daily Mail

By Simon Jones and Lewis Browning For Mailonline
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Sunderland manager Alex Neil has officially been confirmed as the new boss at Stoke City, with Tony Mowbray replacing him at the Stadium of Light.
Neil was in the stands for the Potters’ 1-0 win over Blackburn Rovers yesterday, and has now been confirmed to take over as manager of the club imminently following the sacking of Michael O’Neill.
Sunderland, who lost 1-0 at home to Norwich, have moved quickly to replace the 41-year-old, with former Blackburn man Mowbray to take over at the helm once the move is confirmed.
Sunderland manager Alex Neil has been confirmed as the new boss at Stoke City imminently
Former Blackburn Rovers boss Tony Mowbray will replace Neil at the Stadium of Light
Sunderland revealed on Friday that they had reluctantly granted Neil permission to speak to Stoke after an official approach for his services.
They posted on their website: ‘Sunderland AFC can confirm that Alex Neil has entered into discussions with Stoke City regarding their current managerial vacancy.
‘Following a formal approach by SCFC, the Club is contractually obliged to permit the Head Coach to start a dialogue with the Potters.’
Talks were positive and the move will now be completed after Neil signed a one-year rolling contract with Sunderland in February.
Neil watched on from the stands as Stoke beat Blackburn 1-0 in the Championship yesterday
He helped the club back to the Championship at the end of last season as they won the League One play-off final. 
Neil won 50 per cent of his games as Sunderland manager, with 12 victories from 24 games and earns a hefty pay-rise on the back of an impressive six-month stint on Wearside.
He has previously managed Hamilton and Norwich, as well as Preston North End, and had been close to taking the Stoke job when at Preston.
Rory Delap and John O’Shea will keep their roles in the backroom staff at Stoke, who are 17th in the Championship table.
Rory Delap (left) will stay on in Neil’s backroom staff despite the sacking of Michael O’Neill
Sporting Director Kristjaan Speakman said: ‘First and foremost, we want to thank Alex for his contribution to Sunderland AFC. 
‘The impact he made is clear and he played an integral role in our promotion last season.  
‘Despite signing revised terms earlier this month and receiving an offer to further improve his contract on Friday, Alex felt this was an opportunity that he wanted to pursue. 
‘We are extremely disappointed by his departure, but we ultimately respect his decision and we wish him well. 
‘The process to appoint a new Head Coach is underway and we will provide a further update to our supporters shortly.’ 
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