'I am the Espanyol coach and will be' – Flores distances himself from Stoke job

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Quique Sanchez Flores led Watford to 13th in the Premier League in 2015-16, his only season at the club

Espanyol manager Quique Sanchez Flores has distanced himself from taking charge of Stoke City, saying he is “happy” at the Spanish side.

The Potters sacked Mark Hughes last Saturday with the club in the Premier League relegation zone.

Stoke held talks with Sanchez Flores this week but the ex-Watford manager said on Saturday: “Here I have all I need. I am the coach and will be.”

Republic of Ireland boss Martin O’Neill is now the bookmakers’ favourite.

Sanchez Flores, who is under contract with La Liga side Espanyol until 2019 but has a release clause in his deal, had been Stoke’s first choice to replace Hughes.

“I’m well and quite happy with my situation,” the 52-year-old Spaniard added. “I don’t have to explain anything else.”

Derby County boss Gary Rowett was originally the leading contender to succeed Hughes, but he signed a new three-and-a-half-year deal with the Championship club on Tuesday.

Stoke had hoped to have their new manager in place for the Premier League game against Manchester United on Monday, but that now looks unlikely.



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