Quique Sanchez Flores rules himself out of vacant Stoke job

Republic of Ireland manager back in frame as Sanchez Flores opts to stay with Espanyol

 Stoke managerial target Quique Sanchez Flores has said he wants to remain at Espanyol in Catalonia. Photograph: PA

Stoke managerial target Quique Sanchez Flores has said he wants to remain at Espanyol in Catalonia. Photograph: PA

 

Stoke managerial target Quique Sanchez Flores has committed his future to Espanyol amid heavy speculation that he is to be the next Stoke manager.

It’s been reported that the former Watford, Valencia, Benfica and Atletico Madrid boss was the Premier League club’s first choice to replace Mark Hughes and that a Stoke delegation met with the former Watford boss in Barcelona on Wednesday.

However, on Saturday Sanchez Flores finally addressed the topic in a press conference in Catalonia.

“Here I have all I need. I am the coach and will be,” said Sanchez Flores.

“I belong to Espanyol, I have contract and am honest with the club. I do not understand that you put so much effort in coach. I am well and quite happy with my situation. I don’t have to explain anything else.”

Martin O’Neill is the other name in the frame but, contrary to previous plans, he attended the Soccer Writers’ Association of Ireland annual awards banquet in Dublin on Friday night, suggesting he expects to remain as Republic of Ireland manager.

That could now change with Sanchez Flores ruling himself out. O’Neill refused to answer questions on his future at last night’s events but if he does take the Stoke job, it appears likely his assistant Roy Keane will join him at the Bet365 Stadium. 

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