Nathan Jones is expected to make a dramatic return to Luton Town – 16 months after leaving the club under a cloud to join Stoke City.
Jones is reportedly in advanced talks with Luton about replacing his own successor Graeme Jones, who left the club last month in a bid to strip back costs.
The Telegraph claim Nathan Jones “could be at the club’s training ground on Thursday” as he looks to take charge of the final nine matches of the 2019/20 season.
Luton are six points adrift of safety in the Championship relegation zone – and nine points behind Stoke.
Jones left Stoke in November after a woeful first 14 games of the season left the club with only eight points and on the brink of falling into League One.
He had guided Luton up from the bottom half of League Two to the cusp of the Championship over three, high-scoring free-wheeling years in charge.
But supporters were furious when he left – and police even investigated death threats.
He told the EFL podcast in late 2019: “If I’m honest, I didn’t leave Luton on the best of terms, which saddens me – and pretty much most of that is my fault.
“Everything happened with Stoke so quickly, it was done, it was a whirlwind and I was naïve in terms of leaving.
“When I left Brighton for Luton, for example, I had a golden handshake going out of there, I left with everyone’s blessing and did everything the right way, no problems. I spoke to the manager and took his advice, it was as smooth an exit as you could like.
“When I went to Luton it all happened so quickly and it’s one thing I regret. I regret that I didn’t have chance to go back and speak to the board, that I didn’t go back to speak to players and staff and the people around the club, I regret that I wasn’t able to explain the reasons why I took the job at Stoke.
“That’s a bit thing that saddens me really because it tarnished a lot of good work.”
That did not mean that he had any regrets about joining Stoke.
“Absolutely not, you can’t have regrets in terms of that,” he said.
“I regret how it was done because I could have handled it better but that’s my only regret.
“Yes, in hindsight you could have and people will say, ‘If you’d stayed you could’ve got them promoted’ but life don’t work like that. Life doesn’t work like that.
“At the time Stoke had just come down from the Premier League and had the biggest budget in the Championship. They were a wonderful club, I met the owners – who are phenomenal owners. I spoke to people about the owners, who are as good as owners you could have in league football.
“Everything was in place really and all we had to do was go in and recreate the work we did at Luton and we’d be a Premier League club.
“It didn’t prove that way.”