Football: Phil Neville set to become Valencia assistant manager

Former Manchester Unted player Phil Neville during the Soccerex Global Convention.
Former Manchester Unted player Phil Neville during the Soccerex Global Convention. PHOTO: ACTION IMAGES

LONDON - Former Manchester United and Everton player Phil Neville looks set to join Valencia as their assistant manager, reported The Guardian.

Although he has denied any deal has been signed, the 38-year-old is expected to work for Peter Lim's project with the Spanish club, the Singaporean billionaire having bought them last year before Nuno Espirito Santo, the club's Portuguese head coach, guided them to a Champions League return.

Valencia stated on their official website on Sunday: "Valencia are pleased to announce the appointment of Phil Neville as assistant manager of the first team, joining the coaching staff headed by Nuno Espirito Santo. Neville offers a wealth of footballing knowledge to a club in constant growth."

Lim has a connection with Neville through the Northern Premier League side Salford City. Neville, along with his former Man United team-mates Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt and brother Gary, are the joint owner of Salford along with Lim, who bought a 50 per cent stake in the club last year.

Neville has been working as a pundit for the BBC since his coaching spell at United came to an abrupt end in May last year. The 38-year-old worked for David Moyes at Old Trafford but was not retained when Louis van Gaal became the manager.

Santo, who was appointed as Valencia coach last summer, said: "Phil Neville has great experience at the top level of competition but above all he has knowledge and values that fit perfectly with our team and our club. He has always been a team player, and our philosophy is based on teamwork. We are - and want to continue to be - a group. I am convinced he is going to help us a lot."

Neville will replace Ian Cathro, the highly-rated Scot who has agreed in principle to work for Steve McClaren as the assistant manager at Newcastle United.

Last season Santo and Cathro guided Valencia to fourth in La Liga and a qualification spot for the Champions League. Neville is set to join an ambitious club who have spent significant sums in the transfer market since Lim's arrival.

Neville won 59 caps for England during a playing career that included numerous trophies with Man United. Under Alex Ferguson, Neville - who played in defence and occasionally midfield - won six English Premier League titles, three FA Cups and a European Cup.

After leaving Old Trafford in 2005 he moved to Everton where he spent eight years playing for Moyes and became the club captain. He made his debut as a BBC co-commentator at last year's World Cup.