In a move that will surprise many in the game, United legend Gary Neville, has quit his role as a Sky Sports pundit to take over as Valencia head coach until the end of the season.
Having spent in his entire playing career at Old Trafford, the former England defender has made a name for himself as an award winning analyst for Sky Sports, and is highly respected in the game.
Roy Hodgson had given him his first involvement in coaching, by offering him a coaching position in the England set up, and he has been instrumental in helping the younger players in the squad.
Valencia owner Peter Lim has a personal connection with Gary after buying a 50% stake in Salford City from Gary, brother Philip and former United players Scholes, Giggs and Nicky Butt in 2014. This may explain why Gary has got involved at this stage of the season.
Neville told the Valencia website “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…I am really looking forward to working with the club’s talented group of players and am excited about the challenge ahead.”
This decision may seem like it has come out of the blue and more so because it is only a caretaker role as opposed to taking on a more permanent role. However it could be a good stepping stone for what many regard as Neville’s ultimate destination, which will be to replace Hodgson as England’s next manager.
Neville faces a huge test in his first La Liga fixture, when Barcelona will visit the Mestalla on Saturday night and all eyes will be on the ex United star to see how he fairs.