Villarreal sack Quique Setién with Julen Lopetegui a leading replacement candidate

Following a difficult start to the season, Villarreal sacked coach Quique Setién last night with a former Wolves coach in line to succeed the ex-Barcelona manager at Estadio de la Cerámica.

A club statement confirmed that, following narrow home defeats to Barcelona (3-4) and Real Betis (1-2), the 3-1 loss at Cádiz was Setién’s final game in charge of the Yellow Submarine, with the club taking just three points (via a 1-0 win at Mallorca) from their opening four La Liga games.

As reported by AS, former Wolves, Porto, and Spain coach Julen Lopetegui, and Pacheta, who departed Real Valladolid in April, are the current front runners to succeed Setién ahead of the opening European fixtures following the international break after the southern club was grouped with Rennes, Maccabi Haifa, and Panathinaikos in the Europa League.

Whoever takes over will have to calm an unsettled dressing room that railed against Setién’s methods, which clashed with former coach Unai Emery’s following Emery’s move to Aston Villa last season. For now, sporting director Miguel Ángel Tena will handle the day-to-day coaching on an interim basis while Villarreal looks for a swift appointment of a coach who knows La Liga and can adapt quickly.

Adam White | GSFN

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