Balague: Espanyol boss Quique Sanchez Flores gives Stoke deadline

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The Potters have made their move after missing out on Quique Sanchez Flores, the former Watford boss who was reportedly their first-choice.

The La Liga expert tweeted recently about the future of the former Watford manager, and clearly stated that the Spanish boss will not become the next Potters boss and that he will remain as Espanyol manager.

The Ireland manager also met with Stoke officials this week and appeared to be the front runner for the role, in a deal that would also see assistant Roy Keane move with him, before Sanchez Flores jumped ahead of him in the reckoning.

"I am the coach of Espanyol and will continue to be", Flores said.

"We like the connection (with the club), how they treat us, I like that Espanyol are growing". I am well and quite happy with my situation.

Stoke had hoped to appoint Flores this weekend after vice-chairman John Coates and chief executive Tony Scholes flew to Barcelona for initial talks on Wednesday. "We feel happy. We are in a happy place and we don't want to break that up".

Martin O'Neill is the frontrunner to take over at the bet365 Stadium, with Stoke travelling to Manchester United on Tuesday (AEDT). I have a contract and I am honest with the club.

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.

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