Madrid, May 29 : Chinese striker Wu Lei will have a new coach at Espanyol next season after Joan Francesc Ferrer 'Rubi' decided to leave the club in order to join Real Betis.
The Spanish press are unanimous in reporting that Rubi has accepted an offer to replace Quique Setien at the Seville-based side after leading Espanyol to seventh place in this season's La Liga to qualify the team for the Europa League.
The Barcelona-based El Mundo Deportivo newspaper says that Rubi has already told Espanyol president Chen Yansheng of his intentions, and that Betis will pay Espanyol around 1 million U.S. dollars in compensation.Pablo Machin, who two seasons ago did an excellent job with Girona but was sacked by Sevilla in the second half of last season, is the early favorite to take over at Espanyol.
The fact Espanyol have to play three qualification rounds to reach the group stage of the Europa League means the club start their competitive season in July, giving Espanyol little time to waste before starting pre-season training.
Meanwhile, it looks as if Rubi will not be the only significant departure from Espanyol this summer, with Atletico Madrid closing in on the signature of the club's Spanish international defender Mario Hermoso, as they seek to replace Diego Godin and Lucas Hernandez. XINHUA