Villarreal moved quickly following Manuel Pellegrini's departure to Real Madrid by appointing the former Olympiakos manager Ernesto Valverde as their new head coach. The 45-year-old Spaniard has signed a one-year deal at the Primera Liga club, with an option for another season. "Villarreal have reached an agreement with the coach Ernesto Valverde so that he is on the bench in charge next season (with the option for another)," read a brief statement on the club website.
Valverde, a former Spain, Barcelona, and Athletic Bilbao forward, will be officially unveiled by Villarreal today. He has had several notable successes during his six years in management. He guided Bilbao to their first ever Uefa Cup qualification before steering Espanyol to the final of that competition, which they lost on penalties to Sevilla in 2007. He has spent the past year in charge of Olympiacos but his contract was not renewed last month despite winning the championship and Greek Cup in his first season. Villarreal just missed out on a Champions League place for next season after finishing fifth.
* With agencies