It has not yet been made official, but Fran Escribá has been reported to be the new coach of Villarreal, according to reports.
Escribá is a native of Valencia and played in Los Che’s youth system; he worked under Quique Sanchez Flores at Getafe, Valencia, Benfica and Atleti, before becoming head coach at Elche (then in the Segunda) in 2012. He led the illicitanos to promotion that year and did an excellent job with a limited roster for the next couple of years.
Elche finished 13th, but were relegated for financial and administrative reasons, so Fran left for Getafe. This was not a happy adventure; he was fired in April with the club in the relegation zone, and in fact they never really got out of it.
Contrary to earlier speculation, Manuel Pellegrini was apparently not approached about the opening, etc.—it seems that Escribá must have been the first choice all along, unless there were a lot of unofficial conversations behind the scenes. However, it’s still not official, so let’s wait and see.
One thing we CAN say with more certainty is Villarreal are searching desperately for a striker to replace Soldado. Probably on loan, but at this point it is a question of availability as well.