Stoke are thought to be moving closer to the appointment of Mark Hughes as manager.
One leading bookmaker has suspended betting on the likelihood of the former Wales, Blackburn, Manchester City, Fulham and QPR boss taking over at the Britannia Stadium.
Press Association Sport understands the club have been in discussions with the 49-year-old this week.
A tweet from bookmaker Coral read: "We've suspended betting on next Stoke City manager. Mark Hughes is clearly the man set to take charge at the Britannia."
Hughes would succeed Tony Pulis, who left the club by mutual consent after seven years in charge last week.
Stoke chairman Peter Coates has said the Potters intend to move in a different direction, suggesting they want to tone down the robust style for which they have become renowned.
Hughes, who has been out of work since being sacked by QPR after a tough 11 months in charge last November, would bring a different approach.
Hughes himself may find the club presents a similar challenge to that which he took on at Blackburn, where he impressed.
The Welshman led Rovers to three successive top-10 Premier League finishes and two FA Cup semi-finals before leaving for City in 2008.
He may also welcome the stability the club would appear to offer after the difficulties he faced at Loftus Road.
Yet despite Pulis' reputation for physical football and that some fans started to turn against him in his latter days at the club, he could still be tough act to follow.
Pulis guided the Potters into the top flight in 2008 and they have stayed there since, also reaching the FA Cup final in 2011 and subsequently playing in the Europa League.