Koeman leaves PSV for Valencia

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The Independent Online

PSV Eindhoven last night confirmed that their Dutch coach, Ronald Koeman, had left the club with immediate effect to take charge of the Spanish side Valencia.

Koeman has signed a three-year contract which includes the remainder of this season to replace Quique Sanchez Flores, who was fired on Monday after the 3-0 loss at Seville at the weekend, the club's fourth defeat in five games.

"When Valencia expressed an interest in Ronald Koeman, we asked: 'Can't this wait until next year?'" the PSV general director, Jan Reker, said last night. Koeman has taken his assistant, Tonny Bruins Slot, with him to Spain.

Reker said. "Ronald has always said he dreamt of coaching a top club in Spain. We respect that. This is a dream club for him and they didn't want to wait.

"It's a shame for PSV, but for Ronald it's the ultimate challenge," Reker added.

Valencia are tied for third in the Spanish league with 18 points, four points behind the leaders, Real Madrid, who they played last night at the Mestalla stadium. The reserve team coach, Oscar Hernandez, took charge of the side for last night's match.

Koeman had been under contract until 2008 at PSV, whom he guided to their 20th league title last season, and as such Valencia have agreed to pay compensation. Jose Mourinho, Marcello Lippi and Fabio Capello were linked to take over after the exit of Sanchez Flores, who guided Valencia to third- and fourth-place finishes in his two full seasons at the club.

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