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 By PA Sport

Fran Escriba named to coach Villarreal

Fran Escriba replaces Marcelino, a week before Villarreal's Champions League playoff round first-leg clash with Monaco.

Villarreal have named Fran Escriba as their new head coach.

Escriba replaces Marcelino, whose surprising departure was announced on Wednesday night just a week before the club's Champions League playoff round first-leg clash with Monaco.

Former Real Madrid and Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini had been linked with a return to El Madrigal -- having managed Villarreal to great success between 2004 and 2009 -- but the Yellow Submarine have turned to Escriba.

The 51-year-old Spaniard guided Elche into the top flight after an absence of 25 years in 2013 before taking charge of Getafe last summer.

He was sacked in April with the Madrid-based club deep in relegation trouble in LaLiga.

A Villarreal statement read: "Villarreal have reached an agreement with Fran Escriba to be the coach of the first team this season."

Valencia-born Escriba, who was an assistant coach at Getafe, Valencia, Benfica and Atletico Madrid before becoming Elche boss in 2012, will take charge of this evening's training session with the Yellow Submarine before being presented to the media.

Marcelino and Villarreal parted company on Wednesday. The 50-year-old joined the club in 2013 and steered the team to a fourth-place finish in LaLiga last term.

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