Villarreal parts with coach before Champions League playoff

Villarreal appoints Escriba as head coach

Spanish Champions League hopefuls Villarreal have been rocked ahead of the start of the new season by the departure of coach Marcelino.

Villarreal have officially appointed former Elche and Getafe boss Fran Escriba as their new Coach on a one-year contract.

Villarreal coach Marcelino has left the Spanish club days before it hosts a Champions League playoff first-leg match against Monaco.

The coach had been in charge of the Yellow Submarine since 2013 and guided them to promotion from the second tier and had three straight top-six finishes.

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A report claims that ex-Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini could be about to return to management with Villarreal, who he previously managed between 2004 and 2009. This was not a happy adventure; he was sacked in April with the club in the relegation zone, and in fact they never really got out of it.

Escriba began his managerial career as Quique Sanchez Flores' assistant at Getafe, Valencia, Benfica and Atletico Madrid, before going it his own with Elche in 2012.

Last season the 50-year-old led Villarreal to 4th palce in La Liga, meaning the club returned to the Champions League for the first time in eight years.