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Flores set to stay in Spain as Martin O'Neill-linked Stoke job remains vacant

Quique Sanchez Flores has committed his future to Espanyol, telling a press conference that he is happy there.

Espanyol manager Quique Sanchez Flores (file pic).
Espanyol manager Quique Sanchez Flores (file pic).
Image: Paul Harding

QUIQUE SANCHEZ FLORES has announced that he is set to stay with Espanyol amid speculation that he had been offered the Stoke City management job.

The Potters have been searching for a replacement for Mark Hughes after sacking him last week, with Ireland manager Martin O’Neill emerging as one of the contenders for the job over the past couple of days.

Spanish journalist Guillem Balague had told Off The Ball on Thursday that Flores was the favourite however and that he had 24 hours to accept the offer.

Today though, he attended Espanyol training and told a press conference afterwards that he would stay on despite the increased interest from Stoke City.

He explained that he is happy at the La Liga outfit and wishes to remain there.

“Here, I have all I need. I am the coach and will continue to be until the end of the season,” said Flores, as quoted by the Irish Independent.

“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.

“I do not talk about me. There is a reality in football. Clubs are interested in players and coaches, and this is a lifetime.”

SSE Airtricity/SWAI Awards 2017 Martin O'Neill at the SWAI Awards last night. Source: Stephen McCarthy/SPORTSFILE

Flores’ decision to stay put will now raise further questions about Martin O’Neill’s future, and that of his assistant Roy Keane.

They were both present at the SWAI Awards last night but kept a low profile, refusing to  comment on the matter.

The Telegraph are reporting that Stoke remain keen on appointing O’Neill as their new manager, but he is yet to decide on whether he’ll switch the international football scene for the Premier League.

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