Calleja parts ways with Villarreal after fifth-place finish

Javi Calleja has left Villarreal after steering the club to a fifth place-finish in the La Liga this season.

Javi Calleja

Javi Calleja (in black) is reportedly to be replaced by former Arsenal coach Unai Emery next season.   -  Reuters

Javi Calleja has parted ways with Villarreal after guiding the club to a fifth-place finish in La Liga, thereby also sealing its spot in the Europa League.

Villarreal was eighth in the standings before the coronavirus pandemic suspended the season but Calleja's side enjoyed an upturn in form after the restart, winning seven of its 11 matches to move up the standings.

The 42-year-old said after the side's last game, a 4-0 home win over Eibar on Sunday, that he was unsure about his future at the club.

“Javi Calleja is no longer Villarreal CF head coach,” the club said in a statement on Monday.

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“The Yellows would like to thank him for his hard work, dedication and professionalism during his time as Yellows first-team manager and wish him the best of luck in his sporting career.”

Calleja managed Villarreal for 15 months before being dismissed in December 2018, only to be reinstated to the post six weeks later.

Spanish newspapers have reported that former Arsenal coach Unai Emery has signed a pre-contract agreement to coach Villarreal next season.