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Villarreal appoint Javi Calleja as boss to succeed sacked Fran Escriba

Villarreal coach Fran Escriba
Fran Escriba was dismissed by Villarreal earlier on Monday.

Villarreal have promoted Javi Calleja as their new head coach following the sacking of Fran Escriba on Monday.

A former Villarreal player, Calleja had been in charge of the club's reserve side this season, where they have gone unbeaten after six rounds in Spain's third tier.

Calleja has replaced Escriba, who was sacked just six games into the season following Villarreal's 4-0 defeat at Getafe on Sunday, leaving the club 14th in La Liga with seven points after their third loss of the campaign.

A club statement read: "Villarreal CF and Javi Calleja have reached an agreement for him to become the new coach of Villarreal for the 2017-18 campaign. In this way the club points for someone in-house, who has coached Villarreal B and began his coaching career in the club's youth ranks."

The 52-year-old Escriba took the reins in the summer of 2016 on a one-year contract and steered the team to a fifth-place finish in La Liga to qualify for this season's Europa League. The club had extended his contract for another season in May.

A club statement earlier on Monday read: "Villarreal have decided to terminate the contract of Fran Escriba as coach of the first team.

"The club wishes to thank the coach, his second in command, Josep Alcacer, and the physical trainer, Jos Mascaros, for their work and dedication during their time on the yellow bench and wishes them the best of luck."

Villarreal play at Maccabi Tel Aviv on Thursday in the Europa League before hosting Eibar in La Liga on Sunday.

Adriana Garcia is a Valencia-based football writer who covers La Liga for ESPN FC.

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