Major development in Stoke job hunt as favourite turns down job


Stoke City's managerial search took another dramatic turn on Saturday morning as they were turned down by their first choice for the role.

Gary Rowett was perceived to be the favourite before he signed a contract extension with Derby County leaving O'Neill and former Watford manager Sanchez Flores in the frame.

Flores has now broken his silence on the matter and says he is settled with the La Liga side.

The 52-year-old told reporters: "Here I have all I need".

'I belong to Espanyol.

'I am and will be the manager of Espanyol, ' he said.

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However the name that appeared at the top of the clubs wanted list was Espanol manager Quique Sánchez Flores. I am absolutely happy with my situation, I do not have to explain anything else.

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.

The Potters sacked Mark Hughes last Saturday with the club in the Premier League relegation zone.

Flores' decision to stay at Espaynol will now raise questions about the future of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill and his assistant Roy Keane.

Stoke had hoped to have their new manager in place for the Premier League game against Manchester United on Monday, but that now looks unlikely.