May 07, 2012

VALENCIA, Spain (AP) -- Spanish media reports say Valencia will replace coach Unai Emery with former player Mauricio Pellegrino.

Valencia clinched third place for the third straight season under Emery but the Basque coach was under pressure over the final stretch as the Spanish club lost to rival Atletico Madrid for a place in the Europa League final.

Pellegrino was a player under Rafa Benitez when Valencia won a UEFA Cup-league double in 2004, and he worked as an assistant to Benitez at Liverpool and Inter Milan.

Pellegrino's saved penalty in the 2001 Champions League final allowed Bayern Munich to win its fourth European Cup.

Spanish media reported Emery would join Russian club Spartak Moscow on a two-year deal.

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