October 24, 2018

Major development in Stoke job hunt as favourite turns down job

13 January 2018, 06:47 | Anna Jefferson

Sánchez Flores to stay at Espanyol despite Stoke interest

O'Neill back in the running for Stoke job as Flores turns it down

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.

Update: Guillem Balague now reports Flores is staying at Espanyol, which suggests something has gone very wrong at the last minute.

He explained that he is happy at the La Liga outfit and wishes to remain there. The former Watford manager is set to get a contract covering five seasons, according to these latest Spanish claims.

While O'Neill had spoken to Stoke officials about the job, it was expected that Flores would be given the job after his own conversations with Stoke's board and some non-committal quotes after Espanyol's cup game on Wednesday night.

The 52-year-old told reporters: "Here I have all I need". I do not understand that you put so much effort in coach. "I want to continue being happy with my profession". "I don't have to explain anything else". "Clubs are interested in players and coaches, and this is a lifetime".

"I do not talk about me".

Martin O'Neill at the SWAI Awards last night.

O'Neill has still not decided whether to accept their offer as he and his assistant Roy Keane are excited by the challenge of building a new, younger Ireland squad during their European Nations Cup campaign, which starts later this year.

The42 has just published its first book, Behind The Lines, a collection of some of the year's best sports stories.

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