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Neymar could return for Barca-Malaga tie


Pizzi in contention for Valencia job

Valencia plan to appoint their former player Juan Antonio Pizzi as sacked coach Miroslav Djukic's replacement.

• Corrigan: Differing fortunes

Local paper Superdeporte says recently appointed Los Che ‘general manager’ Rufete has decided on the current San Lorenzo coach as the man to replace Djukic, with another ex-Valencia player Fabian Ayala also joining in a ‘technical staff’ role.

Rufete shared an idea of the coaching structure he had in mind for the club, while sat alongside Djukic at Monday’s press conference announcing the Serbian coach’s departure after just six months in the job.

“We are working on the profile of the coach for the present and also for the future,” Rufete said. “We are looking for someone who will fit to the form of work we are adopting.”

Youth team coach Nico Estevez is now set to take charge for Thursday’s Copa del Rey last-32 second leg at home to Nastic, and Sunday’s final La Liga game of 2013 at home to Real Madrid, with the new man then having the winter break to settle in ahead of a first game at home to Levante in city derby on January 4.

Argentina-born Pizzi, 45, just last weekend guided San Lorenzo to the Apertura Argentinian league title. He played one season at Valencia in the 1990s, while also featuring for Tenerife and Barcelona in La Liga, and playing up front for Spain at Euro 96 and World Cup 1998.

Los Che club president Amadeo Salvo, who had previously offered his unconditional support to Djukic, said continuing poor results and "other factors" had made him change his mind and decide a change was needed.

“When I said he would continue all season I was totally convinced he would,” Salvo said. “[Now] this is a difficult decision because Djukic has got on well with the club, the fans and the media. The results, the play and many factors have brought us to this decision.”


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