Sanchez Flores to leave Watford after Sunday's Premier League finale
Quique Sanchez Flores will leave his position as head coach of Watford after the final game of the Premier League season on Sunday, the club has announced
London: Quique Sanchez Flores will leave his position as head coach of Watford after the final game of the Premier League season on Sunday, the club has announced. "Watford Football Club can confirm that Quique Sanchez Flores will leave Vicarage Road at the end of the season following the Sunderland game this weekend," read a statement on the club's website. "We would like to thank Quique. He and the team achieved the target set at the start of the season, of staying in the Premier League for a second year. Quique leaves with all our best wishes for the future and the knowledge he is always welcome at Vicarage Road."
The 51-year-old Spaniard was only appointed last summer and will leave despite meeting his target after leading the Hornets to mid-table security in their first season back in the Premier League, as well as an FA Cup semi-final. "We looked at all the season during the meeting and after that I confirmed that the club and I don't have the same point of view about the season," said Sanchez Flores. "So we don't have the necessary conditions to activate the clause to renew my contract. My contract finishes at the end of June and then I will leave Watford. This is the consequence."
"I'm very grateful to the players for their amazing effort and I love the Watford fans, they were amazing and gave me a lot of love. I felt completely happy this year. The last game will be really emotional because of the Watford fans. I understand football completely because I've been a professional in football for 32 years. I understand everything. I've had the opportunity to work in the Premier League and have been part of this amazing Watford team, so in this moment I feel free. This has been good for my experience and I'll take away the experience and things I have learnt here. It's a long season in England and it's really, really good for a team who has just been promoted to get 44 points. They have finished in the position they deserve. My work is done," Flores added.
Watford, from just north of London, started the season well but have struggled recently and have lost three of their last four matches, including a 4-2 defeat at Norwich City on Wednesday. The Hornets are 13th in the league table, but have won just two of their past 11 top-flight games. The club are now looking for their seventh full-time manager since being taken over by the Pozzo family, who also own Italian club Udinese and Spanish side Granada, in June 2012.
Sanchez Flores, who played for Valencia, Real Madrid and Spain, may now return to Spain, where he has enjoyed success as a coach in the past, notably winning the Europa League with Atletico Madrid in 2010. "Everything is possible. I'm open to everything after my contract has finished," Sanchez Flores said. "I love the Premier League, it has been an amazing experience, but in football you never know what is next."
Emile Smith Rowe made 33 first-team appearances for Arsenal during a breakthrough campaign last season.
Townsend, 30, was a free agent after his contract with Crystal Palace expired at the end of last season.
The Norwegian, who took over from Jose Mourinho in 2018, will stay at Old Trafford until at least 2024, with the option of an extra year.