VALENCIA

Valencia mulling move for Rayo's Paco Jémez

Gary Neville, unless Peter Lim has a change of heart, will not be offered a new contract. Valencia want a Liga veteran and are considering Jémez. 

Valencia mulling move for Rayo's Paco Jémez
Miguel Ángel Molina EFE

While Gary Neville prepares his side for Las Palmas, Jesús García Pitarch is preparing for next season. Neville, unless Valencia owner Peter Lim has a change of heart, will not be offered a new contract at Mestalla, where he has hardly swamped Lim with arguments to justify his continuation. The defeat against Celta, which has placed the side in the relegation mix, and the chants of “Gary, go now” were the final straw. The situation was discussed in various meetings on Monday, where the names of potential replacements were presented to the sporting director. Chief among them was Paco Jémez.

Pitarch is eager to get the ball rolling and, as soon as Valencia’s Primera status is assured, present his candidate to the club’s owners. Naturally, the side’s circumstances will condition the profile of an incoming coach. Valencia will be without European football next season and the squad budget needs to be trimmed. Lim is not going to pump any more cash into the playing staff and an overhaul will need to be self-financed: sales before purchases.

Pitarch, since his arrival in January, has been collating information and gauging the disposition of, among other, Rafa Benítez, Manuel Pelegrini and Guus Hiddink. Lim and his board have also sounded out Andre Villas-Boas and Jorge Sampaoli. But the Neville experiment has convinced the board that the new coach must be familiar with La Liga, leading them to Jémez, not least because a club not competing in Europe and with a tendency to sell will not appeal greatly to some of the other names on Valencia’s list.