Quique Sanchez Flores quiet on Stoke City job offer

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

It is claimed that Sanchez Flores could cost Stoke City £3.5 million.

The former Watford manager, 52, is now in charge of Espanyol and BBC Sport reports he is one of several candidates Stoke are looking at.

However, according to well-placed Spanish journalist Guillem Balague, Stoke have put former Watford boss Flores top of their wishlist after sending representatives to meet him in Barcelona, with the pursuit of O'Neill acting as a Plan B.

The 52-year-old former Watford boss guided Espanyol into the Copa del Rey quarter-finals last night, but was cryptic when answering questions about his future. "I want to continue being happy with my profession".

Stoke have been on the lookout for a new manager since getting rid of Mark Hughes last week and have been courting Espanyol head coach Flores.

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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".

"Right now we're not thinking about anything other than the game and Sunday's match against Athletic (Bilbao)".

Martin O'Neill has been acting without a signed contract since Ireland's World Cup campaign ended in November and was free to hold talks with Stoke.

Charlie Adam says the Stoke players have not been good enough this season.

Stoke hoped to have Flores installed by Friday but he is now likely to be in the stands for Monday's clash with Manchester United at Old Trafford.

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