Ex-Watford boss Quique Sanchez Flores leaves Shanghai Shenhua

Quique Sanchez Flores pensive while managing Shanghai Shenhua
Image: Quique Sanchez Flores has resigned as boss of Shanghai Shenhua

Former Watford boss Quique Sanchez Flores has resigned as head coach of Chinese Super League side Shanghai Shenhua after just six months.

The Spaniard joined on Christmas Day 2018 but only oversaw 17 competitive games, and departs halfway through the season with the club 14th out of 16, one point and one place above the relegation zone.

Quique Sanchez Flores gesticulating while managing Shanghai Shenhua
Image: Flores only won three league games in his time at the club

The club finished seventh last season, 30 points behind winners Shanghai SIPG, and endured a poor run of form culminating in Monday night's 3-0 loss at home to Guangzhou Evergrande, leading to the 54-year-old stepping down for "personal reasons," according to Shanghai social media.

"Of all the six years I've been with the club, this season has been the most difficult one," club president Wu Xiaohui said in a meeting with fan representatives in May, although Wu later praised Flores for his commitment to blooding youngsters.

Odion Ighalo taking on a defender while playing for Shanghai Shenhua
Image: Former Watford player Odion Ighalo has scored seven in nine league games

"We are in a situation I never expected.

"The coaching team has been under big pressure. I promise adjustments will be made soon to keep the club in the league."

Flores, who previously coached Benfica, Valencia and Atletico Madrid and whose godfather was Alfredo di Stefano, led Watford to 12th place in the Premier League and an FA Cup semi-final in the 2015/16 season.

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The Chinese club, previously managed by Gus Poyet, Nicolas Anelka and Howard Wilkinson and boasting ex-Watford striker Odion Ighalo in their ranks, have also been linked with Italy winger Stephan El Shaarawy at around £11m.

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