Fulham managerial target Steve Clarke last night performed a dramatic U-turn and decided to stay at Reading.
The Scot looked certain to take the job in west London after being given permission to speak to the Craven Cottage club.
Rumours went into overdrive when the Royals cancelled Clarke’s pre-match press conference yesterday morning and it appeared a deal was close to being concluded.
However, with the two club’s reportedly having agreed a compensation package, Clarke is thought to have pulled the plug on the move and will now stay at the Madejski Stadium.
It all means Fulham will have to go back to the drawing board in their search for Kit Symons’ replacement and Alan Curbishley will be in the dugout for Saturday’s trip to MK Dons.
Former Leicester boss Nigel Pearson, Exeter’s Paul Tisdale and Walsall manager Dean Smith are thought to remain in consideration for the role.
Meanwhile, Clarke is due to hold his re-arranged press conference in Berkshire this morning and will have a tough job on his hands to win back the Reading supporters after his public flirtation with the Whites.
Steve Clarke's time at Reading FC
December 16, 2014
Steve Clarke is named the new Reading manager, replacing Nigel Adkins.
December 20, 2014
Clarke's first game in charge of Reading ends in a 1-0 home defeat by Watford.
December 28, 2014
A 2-1 win against Norwich gives Clarke his first victory as Reading manager.
January 3, 2015
Clarke guides Reading to a 1-0 win at Huddersfield in the FA Cup third round.
January 24, 2015
The FA Cup run continues as Reading see off Cardiff City 2-1 in the fourth round.
February 14, 2015
Yakubu's late goal gives Reading a 2-1 win at Derby in the FA Cup fifth round
March 7, 2015
Clarke hails his players after 0-0 draw at Bradford in FA Cup quarter-final.
March 15, 2015
Clarke risks wrath of FA by making nine changes for league game at Watford
March 17, 2015
Clarke guides Reading FC to their first FA Cup semi-final in 88 years thanks to a 3-0 win against Bradford.
April 18, 2015
Clarke says he is proud of his players after Reading fall to a 2-1 defeat at Wembley against Arsenal in the FA Cup semi-final.
April 22, 2015
Reading avoid relegation following Millwall's defeat at Blackburn.
April 28, 2015
Clarke labels Reading 'a team in decay' after a 2-1 defeat at Rotherham.
April 30, 2015
Clarke brushes off rumours he is considering quitting.
May 3, 2015
Clarke's first season at Reading ends with a 3-0 win at Derby. Royals finish 19th in the Championship.
May 22, 2015
Clarke sacks four members of his coaching staff, including the hugely popular Sal Bibbo.
June 22, 2015
Clarke calls for Reading's Thai owners to back him in the transfer market.
June 25, 2015
Clarke unveils his new coaching staff.
July 6, 2015
Clarke takes his Reading squad for a pre-season tour of Thailand
August 9, 2015
Clarke sees Reading lose 2-1 to Birmingham on the opening day of the 2015/16 Championship season.
August 29, 2015
A 3-1 win at Brentford gives Clarke his first league win of the new season.
September 1, 2015
Clarke signs Matej Vydra and Ola John on transfer deadline day - completing a busy summer in the transfer market.
October 4, 2015
Clarke is linked with a move to Sunderland.
October 25, 2015
Clarke says Reading have suffered a 'big reality check' after a 4-2 defeat at Fulham.
November 8, 2015
Clarke sees his side lose 2-0 at Cardiff City, extending their run without a win to five games.
November 17, 2015
Clarke is linked with a shock switch to Fulham.
November 18, 2015
Steve Clarke begins talks with Fulham over a move to Craven Cottage.
November 19, 2015
November 20, 2015
Clarke explains his reasons for staying at Reading and rejecting Fulham.
November 21, 2015
Clarke receives a muted reception from Reading fans, as Royals beat Bolton 2-1
November 28, 2015
Reading lose at Nottingham Forest - sparking criticism of Clarke from fans
December 4, 2015
Clarke says he is still the man for the job - despite being booed from the pitch after a 1-0 defeat by QPR.
December 5, 2015
After less than a year in charge, Clarke is sacked as Reading manager.