Former Arsenal, Paris Saint-Germain, Sevilla and Valencia coach Unai Emery has agreed to take over at Villarreal this summer.
Emery has been out of work since his sacking by the Gunners in November last year, after 18 months at the north London club, and has been assessing his options ever since.
Standard Sport understands an agreement was struck in principle after talks during the enforced break due to coronavirus, before Villarreal’s impressive run to fifth place and a spot in the Europa League next term.
The 48-year-old spent lockdown with his family in Valencia (just 63 kilometres from Villarreal by road) and the proximity to his home is understood to be one of the reasons he was attracted to the job.
Villarreal are also a well-run and stable club, where Emery is likely to be given time to work, without the scrutiny and pressure of some of his former teams.
The Yellow Submarine ended their season on a high on Sunday with a 4-0 win at home to Eibar, their seventh victory since the restart last month
News that current coach Javi Calleja was not going to continue filtered through to the players ahead of that match at the Estadio de la Ceramica.
Cameroonian midfielder Andre Zambo Anguissa hugged Calleja after scoring the first goal for his side and afterwards, the coach admitted he was in the dark over his future.
“I don’t know,” he said. “I have a clear conscience. I’m happy with the season. I can’t say much more. It’s others who have to talk.”
Calleja, who has a contract until 2021, added: “They told me they would speak to me after everything that is coming out.”
With the season now over, Villarreal are expected to announce Emery as Calleja’s replacement this week.
Sunday’s game also saw club legends Santi Cazorla and Bruno Soriano make their final appearances for Villarreal, while Anguissa may also have played his last game for the side as his loan agreement with Fulham came to an end.