Valencia have announced the surprise appointment of Gary Neville as their new head coach until the end of the 2015/16 season. The former Manchester United stalwart, whose brother Phil is currently sharing caretaker duties with Salvador Gonzalez at the Mestalla following former boss Nuno Espirito Santo's resignation on 30 November, will officially take charge of the La Liga outfit on 6 December ahead of their Champions League clash against Lyon next week.
In a statement to confirm Neville's appointment released via the official Valencia website, chairperson Layhoon Chan said: "We are delighted to have secured Gary so quickly. He combines top-level coaching experience through his role as a senior coach with the England national team and a world-class playing career with England and Manchester United."
Neville, due to hold his first press conference tomorrow, added: "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."
After calling time on his playing career in 2011, the 40-year-old has earned widespread plaudits in his role as an insightful and analytical pundit on Sky Sports' Premier League coverage. He was appointed to England manager Roy Hodgson's coaching staff ahead of Euro 2012 and last year joined former Old Trafford teammates Paul Scholes, Phil Neville and Nicky Butt as part of the 'Class of 92' consortium that bought a 50% stake in non-league club Salford City. The other half of that aforementioned takeover was completed by Peter Lim, the Singaporean businessman who also became the majority shareholder at Valencia in May 2014.
Neville is set to leave his role at Sky for the time being, although Hodgson has since revealed that he will remain in the current national set-up for the foreseeable future as England prepare for next summer's European Championships in France.
"Like the rest of the England coaching staff, Gary will be fully committed to preparing for the Euros in France and our friendly matches which begin in March against Germany and Holland," Hodgson said in an Football Association (FA) statement. "I wish him and his brother Phil the very best of luck as they prepare for their first match versus Lyon in the Champions League."