Martin O'Neill set to miss out on Stoke job to Sanchez Flores
Quique Sanchez Flores now looks nailed on to take the Stoke job.
BBC's Stoke-based journalist Matt Sandoz tweeted this morning that the former Spanish footballer and current Espanyol manager "is expected to take the job at Stoke City."
— Matt Sandoz (@mattsandoz1) January 12, 2018
This comes after reports emerged on Thursday that Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill and his assistant Roy Keane were being targeted by the Potters to fill the void left by the recently departed Mark Hughes.
The potential of this becoming a reality was given further weight after O'Neill and Keane were said to have been interested in the move across the water.
However, Sanchez Flores has emerged as Stoke's favoured candidate for the job, with well renowned Spanish football journalist Guillem Balagué taking to Youtube to claim he will accept the job in the near future.
"He will announce today to the Espanyol board his decision. 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," said Balagué.
"It looks like that the most likely decision is that he tells Espanyol he is leaving. Espanyol are looking already for a replacement."
Sanchez Flores refused to comment on the speculation after he oversaw Espanyol's victory over Levante on Thursday night which assured them of a place in the Copa Del Rey Quarter finals.
The latest developments do look concrete, however.
Where does that leave O'Neill and Keane?
It has emerged that the pair will be present at tonight's Soccer Writers’ Association of Ireland banquet in Dublin, after they confirmed to the FAI that he and his backroom team will be there.
Martin O'Neill and his backroom team confirm they will attend tonight's @SWAInews awards in Dublin. Stoke City switch looking increasingly unlikely.
— Bernard O'Toole (@BernardOToole) January 12, 2018
And here's how fans reacted.
Quique Sanchez Flores is expected to tell Espanyol today that he's leaving them to take the reins at Stoke City.
After holding talks with the Potters, surely Martin O'Neill cannot stay on as Rep of Ireland manager?
— Barry Whyte (@BarryWhyte85) January 12, 2018
— Richard Sheehan (@risteard69) January 12, 2018
— Ray (@rkkx) January 12, 2018