Villarreal's newly-appointed coach Manuel Preciado dies of heart attack a day before taking charge of the club
MANUEL Preciado, who was due to be unveiled as the new coach of Villarreal tomorrow, has died of a heart attack, the Spanish club have confirmed.
Villarreal announced yesterday they had reached an agreement with Preciado to take charge of the club next season, with the 54-year-old set to be presented to the media tomorrow.
Preciado spent six years in charge of Sporting Gijón before parting company with the club in January ahead of the challenge of achieving promotion at Villarreal, who suffered relegation from La Liga last season.
Preciado took over Sporting in the summer of 2006 and in his second season led them into the Primera Division for the first time in 10 years.
His record of 232 official matches in charge at El Molinon is second only to Jose Manuel Diaz Novoa, who sat in the Sporting hot seat for 282 games.
A statement on the Sporting website read: "With deepest regret, Sporting Gijón wish to express their sorrow at this sad loss, for someone who formed an integral part of this club's history, and send their deepest condolences to his family in this time of grief."
Prior to his time at Sporting, Preciado was coach of the likes of Racing Santander, Levante and Murcia, while as a player he represented Racing, Real Mallorca and Alaves among others.
Sporting were relegated from the Primera Division in the recently-completed season, as were Villarreal.
Villarreal said in a statement this morning ''The coach Manuel Preciado died overnight in Valencia as a result of a heart attack.
''The Cantabrian, who had been chosen by Villarreal to lead next season's project, was 54 years old.
''Villarreal want to express their deepest sorrow at the sad loss and want to offer their condolences to his family and all his relatives.''