LUTON TOWN'S preparations for Saturday’s promotion clash at Sunderland have been wrecked after their manager left to join Stoke.

Jones was given permission to hold formal talks with the Potters this morning after the Championship club identified him as their preferred candidate to replace Gary Rowett, who was sacked on Tuesday after less that a year in charge at the Bet365 Stadium.

Jones has been an integral part of Luton’s rise in the last few years, having taken charge at Kenilworth Road in January 2016. He led the Hatters to promotion from League Two last season, and has guided his side to second position in the League One table, a point ahead of Sunderland, ahead of this weekend’s trip to the North-East.

"Nathan Jones is the new manager of Stoke City, the club are delighted to confirm," Stoke announced on their offical website.

"The 45-year-old Welshman takes up the reins at the bet365 Stadium after the Potters agreed a compensation package with his former club Luton Town."