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Muntari walks off after racist abuse

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By ESPN Staff

Koeman agrees to take over as Valencia coach

EINDHOVEN, Oct 31 (Reuters) - Ronald Koeman has agreed to take over as coach of Valencia after quitting PSV Eindhoven, the former Dutch international said on Wednesday.

'I have not signed so far but I have reached an agreement with Valencia for a 2-1/2 year contract,' Koeman told a news conference.

The Primera Liga club, who had been looking for a new manager after sacking Quique Sanchez Flores following last weekend's 3-0 defeat at Sevilla, said Koeman would sign the contract in Valencia on Friday and be unveiled at 1200 GMT.

PSV managing director Jan Reker told Wednesday's news conference the Dutch club had accepted Koeman's resignation.

'Koeman told me this summer it was his dream to work with one of the top teams in Spain so when Valencia came it was clear for us that it would be difficult to keep him,' said Reker.

'The management of PSV spoke with delegates of Valencia this morning and in 4-1/2 hours we reached an agreement about financial compensation,' Reker added.

In Spain, Valencia president Juan Soler later told Canal Plus television: 'There are a few details to sort out between tonight and tomorrow and we hope that he will be here on Friday to sign the contract. The agreement is practically closed.

Speaking after Valencia's 5-1 Primera Liga defeat at home to Real Madrid, Soler added: 'Ronald is a winner and he understands the situation that Valencia finds itself in and he is watching the games.

'What we saw out there tonight is something we've seen before this season and it is what led us to make this decision.

'We've found a person who we hope will bring that winning spirit back to Valencia. He was our first option and we've had previous contact with him and we went for him.'

Koeman, 44, clashed with PSV chairman Frits Schuitema last season when the team appeared to have squandered their title chances but they ended up snatching the Dutch championship on goal difference in a dramatic finale.

'This summer I spoke with the chairman of Valencia about the future because it would be an ideal job for me after this season when my contract expires,' said Koeman.

'On Sunday morning I was called again after Valencia sacked their coach and within 15 hours we reached an agreement,' added Koeman, who had been in charge of PSV since May 2006.

Koeman will be joined by his assistant Tonny Bruins Slot, who previously worked under Johan Cruyff at Barcelona.

Koeman expects to take charge of Valencia for the first time when they host Rosenborg in a Champions League match on Tuesday. They are third in Group B, four points behind leaders Chelsea.

Sanchez Flores was the third coach to have been sacked by Valencia in three years with predecessors Antonio Lopez and Claudio Ranieri also failing to live up to expectations following the success under previous boss Rafa Benitez.

Koeman was a member of the Barcelona team that won the 1992 European Cup and four consecutive Primera Liga titles in the early 1990s and he had a spell as assistant at the Catalan club when he began his coaching career.

He returned to the Netherlands to take the job of head coach at Vitesse Arnhem in 2000 and then took charge of former team Ajax the following year, leading the Amsterdam side to the league and Cup double in 2002 and another league title in 2004.

He stepped down in 2005 following a UEFA Cup defeat to Auxerre and then moved to Portuguese champions Benfica, but resigned less than 12 months later after they finished third in the league and signed a two-year deal with PSV.

PSV currently lead the Dutch first division after nine games, two points clear of rivals Ajax and Feyenoord.