Stoke want Quique Sanchez Flores to replace Mark Hughes

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Quique Sanchez Flores has refused to comment on reports linking him with the Stoke job.

Quique Sanchez Flores is expected to take over at Stoke City after the Potters convinced him to abandon his Espanyol project and return to the Premier League. It's a day for Espanyol, for the club, for the players, it's a day to celebrate for having qualified for the quarters.

It could take a cheque for around £3m to get Flores out of Espanyol because he still has 18 months of his current deal to run. "I want to continue being happy with my profession".

The ex-Atletico Madrid and Benfica boss 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".

Flores has jumped ahead of Republic of Ireland boss Martin O'Neill in the race to succeed Hughes.

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But there is even a suggestion in Spain that he could still be with Espanyol's for Sunday's game against Athletic Bilbao.

Stoke were keen to find a coach with Premier League experience after their dismissal of Mark Hughes, and were impressed with Sanchez Flores' performance during his one season with Watford.

It is claimed that Sanchez Flores is likely to be in stands for the Potters' fixture against Manchester United on Monday, as he does not want to disrupt the plans put in place by caretaker duo Eddie Niedzwiecki and Kevin Russell this week.

"A new manager could come in tomorrow, and it's just a matter of us trying to make sure the lads are prepared, organised and ready to go".

"Whoever comes in is coming into a fantastic football club".