Flores first choice for Stoke in search for new manager

Flores first choice for Stoke in search for new manager

Flores explained his decision during a press conference for Espaynol today. "I am the coach and will be", said Flores. "I am and will be the manager of Espanyol".

Flores was successful in the Premier League with Watford in 2016 and he managed to secure a mid-table position for the newly promoted club.

"I live in a big city, in one of the best leagues, and I have reason to be happy and not to live anxious".

"I belong to Espanyol".

In any event, both Stoke's plans and O'Neill's contract situation with the FAI have been shrouded in confusion once again as Irish football's governing body await Stoke's next move.

"It happened three weeks ago with Gerard Moreno, but we have to think that we are happy with Espanyol".

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.

Stoke are now negotiating with O'Neill, who has been in charge of the Republic of Ireland for over four years. I have a contract and I am honest with the club.

O'Neill emerged as a contender for the Stoke job after they sacked Mark Hughes earlier this month following a shock FA Cup defeat to League Two Coventry. The Potters, who now sit 18th in the Premier League table, face Manchester United on Monday night.