Valencia hire former Watford manager Javi Gracia as next coach

Valencia have hired former Watford manager Javi Gracia as their new coach, the club announced on Monday, with Gracia putting pen to paper on a two-year contract with Los Che.

"Valencia CF have reached an agreement with Javi Gracia, who has been appointed as first team coach as of Monday, on a two-year deal through to June 30, 2022," the club said in a statement.

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Valencia dismissed Albert Celades last month after a poor run of results.

Valencia had started the 2019-20 campaign under coach Marcelino, who was surprisingly sacked in September despite having led the club to successive top-four finishes and to the Copa del Rey title, their first major trophy in 11 years.

Gracia, 50, had been out of a job since being sacked by Watford in September after a poor start to the campaign. Watford were relegated from the Premier League on Sunday.

Gracia, who returns to Spain where he has coached Malaga, Osasuna and Almeria, inherits a team that finished ninth in La Liga to miss out on European football next season.

Valencia were knocked out of the Champions League after an 8-4 aggregate defeat to Atalanta in the round of 16.