Madrid (AFP) – Chinese-owned Espanyol have appointed former Watford manager Quique Sanchez Flores as their new coach, the La Liga outfit revealed on Thursday.

Espanyol, who are majority-owned by Chinese entertainment company Rastar Group, said Sanchez Flores had signed “a three-year deal” to replace Romanian Constantin Galca.

Sanchez Flores was surprisingly fired by Watford at the end of his only season in charge of the Hornets, in which he guided the club to Premier League survival following their promotion form the Championship.

The 51-year-old has previously coached Atletico Madrid and Valencia amongst other teams in La Liga, as well as Portuguese giants Benfica. 

During his playing career he won La Liga with Real Madrid in 1995 and earnt 15 Spain caps.

As a coach he led Atletico to the 2010 Europa League title and Benfica to the Portuguese Cup the year before.

Espanyol parted company with Galca last month despite the Romanian steering them to safety during a difficult season.

He had only taken over the reins in December with the team deep in a relegation dogfight before guiding them to a comfortable 13th-placed finish.