Stoke City are looking to bring in Espanyol manager Quique Sanchez Flores to replace the vacant managerial position at the club. According to recent reports, the Potters’ managerial target was reluctant to address his future after Espanyol’s 2-0 Copa del Rey victory at Levante on Thursday night. It is being reported that Flores has been lined up as the number one target for the Premier League club to replace Mark Hughes and some of the club’s representatives have already met with the former Watford manager in Barcelona on Wednesday.
When asked about his future in the post-match interview on Thursday, Flores decided to focus on Espanyol’s performance in the cup tie rather than discuss his future at the club following his side’s incredible comeback from a first-leg deficit to reach the quarterfinals of the competition. As reported in the Spanish press, when asked about his future at the La Liga club, the 52-year-old Spaniard said:
“I’m not going to talk about me on such an important day for Espanyol.
“It’s a day for Espanyol, for the club, for the players, it’s a day to celebrate for having qualified for the quarters.
“I don’t want to talk about me, but to enjoy these moments. I want to continue being happy with my profession.”
The former Atletico Madrid and Benfica manager also 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.
“Right now we’re not thinking about anything other than today’s game and Sunday’s match against Athletic (Bilbao).”
Stoke City sacked their former manager Mark Hughes last weekend when the Potters fell victim to a disappointing 2-1 away defeat at the hands of League Two opposition, Coventry City at the Ricoh Arena. The result followed a run of seven defeats in 10 Premier League games which have seen them fall into the drop zone with the club now in real danger of facing a potential relegation at the end of the season.
It is also believed that Republic of Ireland boss Martin O’Neill is being considered for the vacant managerial position at the bet365 Stadium. Since the sacking of Hughes, first-team coach Eddie Niedzwiecki has taken temporary charge of Stoke City and has conducted training ahead of Monday night’s crunch league clash at Old Trafford versus Manchester United. Niedzwiecki has been assisted by the Potters’ Under-18s boss Kevin Russell who addressed the media at a press conference on Thursday.
It remains to be seen whether Stoke City are successful in their attempts to lure Flores into taking up the vacant managerial position at the club. His wealth of experience for clubs all across Europe could help the Potters in their quest to save themselves from a potential relegation at the end of the season.
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