FORMER Manchester United defender Gary Neville has been appointed as head coach of Valencia CF today.

The England coach and Salford City FC co-owner will not take the reigns until Wednesday’s Champions League game against Lyon.

Interim manager Salvador González will be in charge of the club’s Cope Del Rey game against Segunda Division Barakaldo CF this evening.

Los Che’s President Layhoon Chan said that Neville combines “top level coaching experience” through his role as a senior coach with the England national team and his playing career with Manchester United.

Speaking at a press conference held earlier today, Neville said: “I am absolutely thrilled to be given this opportunity with Valencia.

“Valencia are a huge football club of immense standing and I know from my time as a player the passion and dedication of the Valencia fans.”

The appointment means that the 40-year-old will relinquish his punditry and commentary duties on Sky Sports; where he had a highly successful partnership with former rival Jamie Carragher.

The player turned pundit/owner has had previous coaching experience having been Roy Hodgson’s assistant manager at the 2014 FIFA World Cup. However, his arrival at the Mestalla signals his first venture into management.

Both Neville and Hodgson have confirmed that the former defender will remain part of the England coaching set up, with the 68-year old manager believing that it will benefit the team.

Neville’s appointment will also see him reunited with his younger brother and Salford City co-owner Phil, who has been on the coaching staff at the Catalan outfit since the start of the season.

The Ammies and Valencia share a link with Singaporean billionaire Peter Lim holding significant shares in both clubs.

Lim also helped the Class of 92 turn the £200m Hotel Football into reality.

Gary Neville replaces Nuno Espírito Santo who was in charge for 14 months prior to his sacking in November.

By Oliver MacKenzie

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