Stoke manager target confirms he will stay at Espanyol

Martin O’Neill could be getting ready for a departure from the Ireland job even if Stoke City don’t offer him the reins

Martin O’Neill could be getting ready for a departure from the Ireland job even if Stoke City don’t offer him the reins

Quique Sanchez Flores has rejected Stoke City in order to remain as Espanyol manager.

Stoke sacked Hughes last Saturday after a 2-1 FA Cup defeat at League Two Coventry and a run of seven losses in 10 Premier League games.

It took 20 minutes of the Espanyol press conference but Quique Sánchez Flores finally got to the point.

Flores spent the 2015-16 season in the Premier League with Watford.

The former Watford boss was said to be the favourite to land Stoke City's top job - recently vacated by Mark Hughes - but he has spurned the Potters' advances. "I am and will be the manager of Espanyol". "And the fact is that the players do not want to leave, and the coach also continues".

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"I don't want to talk about me, but to enjoy these moments".

The ex-Atletico Madrid and Benfica boss added: "I'm very grateful to Espanyol, I've been frustrated sometimes because we haven't advanced as fast as desired, but that's because Espanyol haven't been able to, not because they haven't wanted to".

Earlier in the week, it was reported that Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill was a potential candidate for the vacant Stoke position and was personally keen on taking the job.

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.

First-team coach Eddie Niedzwiecki will take charge of Monday's Premier League game against Manchester United at Old Trafford. It was a matter of picking them up on Monday a little bit - there are players who were hurting, and rightly so.

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