Stoke City will have to look elsewhere for its next permanent manager after Quique Sanchez Flores withdrew his name from consideration Saturday.
Following last weekend's dismissal of Mark Hughes, the Potters had identified current Espanyol manager Sanchez Flores as the ideal candidate to lead the club out of the relegation zone. They were reportedly prepared to pay compensation to the Spanish club to break his contract, but the 52-year-old told reporters he's not interested in switching sides.
"Here I have all I need. I am the coach and will be," Sanchez Flores said of his situation at Espanyol, courtesy of the BBC.
The snub dashed Stoke's hopes of installing a new manager before Monday's clash with Manchester United.
Ireland boss Martin O'Neill is now in the frame to take the vacant position, according to The Telegraph's Luke Edwards. O'Neill, whose last stint in club football ended in 2013 with Sunderland, would likely bring colourful assistant Roy Keane to bet365 Stadium if he were hired.
Stoke fired Hughes after a shocking 2-1 defeat to fourth-tier Coventry City in the third round of the FA Cup.
Stuck in 18th place in the Premier League table, the club is facing a real fight to remain in the English top flight for an 11th consecutive season.