Quique Sanchez Flores will take charge of his final match as Watford boss on Sunday after it was confirmed he is to leave the club next month.
The speculation over Sanchez Flores’ future has finally been brought to a close following a meeting between manager and board on Thursday in which it was decided an extension clause in his contract would not be activated.
The 51-year-old Spaniard’s departure comes despite his success in guaranteeing Watford’s survival upon their return to the Barclays Premier League in only his first season at the helm.
If Sunderland are defeated at Vicarage Road on Sunday, the Hornets could finish as high as 11th.
“We looked at all the season during the meeting and after that I confirmed that the club and me don’t have the same point of view about the season,” Sanchez Flores said.
“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.”
Sanchez Flores will have been aware of the fraught nature of the role at Vicarage Road, having replaced Slavisa Jokanovic last summer – the man who guided Watford into the Premier League.
And he leaves his position despite the club admitting he had achieved his target.
A statement on Watford’s website read: “Watford…can confirm that Quique Sanchez Flores will leave Vicarage Road at the end of the season following the Sunderland game this weekend.
“We would like to thank Quique. He and the team achieved the target set them 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.”
Sanchez Flores bears no grudge towards Watford despite his success in guaranteeing the club another season in the top flight.
“I understand football completely because I’ve been a professional in football for 32 years. I understand everything,” he said.
“The most important thing is how I feel in this moment and I feel good and happy as a manager.
“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 learned 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.”
Sanchez Flores hopes to stay in the Premier League once he leaves Watford.
“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.”