Football: Valencia announce Cesare Prandelli's appointment as coach

Italian coach Cesare Prandelli arriving at Manises airport in Valencia on Oct 1, 2016.
Italian coach Cesare Prandelli arriving at Manises airport in Valencia on Oct 1, 2016.PHOTO: EPA

MADRID (AFP) - Valencia named former Italy coach Cesare Prandelli as their fourth coach in a year on Saturday on a two-year deal.

"Valencia Club de Futbol wish to communicate to fans that they have reached an agreement with Cesare Prandelli," the Spanish Primera Liga club said in a statement. "The Italian being appointed as first team coach through to June 30th, 2018."

Singapore daily The Straits Times had revealed his signing on Friday night (local time), with the Italian photographed at Forum The Shopping Mall along its famed Orchard Road belt where he had had dinner with the club's Singaporean owner Peter Lim.

Prandelli has been unemployed since leaving Galatasaray after just four months in charge in 2014.

The 59-year-old led Italy to the Euro 2012 final, eventually losing 4-0 to Spain, but resigned after failing to make it out of the group stages at the 2014 World Cup.

Prandelli will watch Valencia take on Atletico Madrid on Sunday, but caretaker boss Voro will continue as coach for one final match after leading Valencia to their first two victories of the season against Alaves and Leganes.

Pako Ayestaran was sacked last month after Los Che lost their first four La Liga games of the season.

Prandelli is the fourth coach of Lim's short spell in charge of the Spanish giants. He had bought the club in 2014.

Nuno Espirito Santo resigned last November despite leading Valencia back into the Champions League in his only full season in charge.

Former Manchester United captain Gary Neville then endured a nightmare four-month reign before he was sacked in March, paving the way for Ayestaran's appointment.

Back-to-back victories under Voro have moved Valencia up to 15th in the table ahead of Atletico's visit to Mestalla.

However, a lack of European football and the club's heavy debts means Prandelli will have a depleted squad to work with.

A host of Valencia's best players including captain Paco Alcacer, Andre Gomes and Shkodran Mustafi were sold for over €100 million (S$153.25 million) in the summer transfer window.