Villareal sack manager Javi Calleja

MADRID, SPAIN - JANUARY 13: Manager, Javi Calleja of Villarreal reacts during the La Liga match between Real Madrid and Villarreal at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on January 13, 2018 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)

Villareal has parted company with Javi Calleja after a poor start to the season that left the club just three points above the relegation zone in La Liga.

Calleja led Villareal to a fifth-place finish and Europa League football last season, but the Yellow Submarines have struggled this term.

The club has won just one league game since September while their Europa League qualification hangs by a thread.

“Villarreal has decided to rescind Javi Callejas contract as first-team coach. The club would like to thank the coach for his work, dedication, and professionalism on the Yellows bench after taking charge early on last season, and wish him the best of luck in his sporting career.,” read an official statement on the club’s website.

“As a professional footballer, Calleja played for the Villarreal first team in one of the most successful eras of the club, reaching the UEFA Champions League semi-finals.

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“He also played for CD Onda when it was affiliated to Villarreal CF, as well as turning out for Real Madrid C, RSD Alcalá, Málaga CF and CA Osasuna.

“The first-team training session, that was going to take place at 10:30am at the Villarreal CF Training Ground (Ciudad Deportiva), will still take place at the same location (time to be confirmed).

“The club will announce the new Villarreal CF manager in the coming hours.”