Stoke City confident of landing Quique Sanchez Flores despite hold up

Football Association conucillor Peter Coates looks on during the Barclays Premier League match between Fulham and Stoke City at Craven Cottage

Stoke City confident of landing Quique Sanchez Flores despite hold up

Quique Sanchez Flores admits to being "frustrated" by a lack of progress at Espanyol, but refuses to discuss recent links with the Stoke City managerial job.

Sanchez Flores is said to have informed Espanyol of his desire to become Stoke's new manager, little more than 18 months after he left the Potters' Premier League rivals Watford.

The Irish boss looks likeliest to take over due to the fact he has yet to sign a new contract with the Football Association of Ireland, although Flores is weighing up what is said to have been a persuasive offer from the Stoke delegation that met him.

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The Sun cites reports in Spain which claim the former Valencia, Benfica and Atletico Madrid manager, could still take charge of Espanyol against Athletic Bilbao on Sunday.

Espanyol face Levante in the Copa Del Rey on Thursday night and only after the game will Flores make a call on his future, with Stoke keen to have Mark Hughes's successor in place without further delay. Their attendance suggests the pair will in fact be staying on as Republic of Ireland manager and assistant manager after days of speculation linking them with a return to the Prmeier League.

The Catalan newspaper state Stoke City, or Flores directly, would have to pay Espanyol a €4m termination clause if the manager is to leave his position right now. I think, unless he's changed his mind in the last hour or two, that he is going to say he is leaving, he's going to Stoke. They are 14th in La Liga, having finished eighth last term. "Espanyol are looking already for a replacement".

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