Valencia sack coach Pizzi, Nuno tipped to take over

Valencia's coach Juan Antonio Pizzi gestures during their Europa League semi-final first leg soccer match against Sevilla at Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan stadium in Seville, April 24, 2014. REUTERS/Jon Nazca

(Reuters) - Valencia have sacked Argentina-born coach Juan Antonio Pizzi after just over half a season in charge, the La Liga club said on Wednesday.

Spanish media reported that former Deportivo La Coruna and Porto goalkeeper Nuno was poised to replace him.

Pizzi was appointed in December to replace Miroslav Djukic, who was fired after a poor start to their domestic campaign.

They reached the semi-finals of the Europa League, where they lost narrowly to Spanish rivals and eventual winners Sevilla, but eventually finished eighth in La Liga and failed to secure a lucrative spot in Europe again for next term.

Valencia, who have been hampered by financial troubles in recent years, are in the process of being bought by Singapore businessman Peter Lim.

Lim, who has a fortune worth around $2.4 billion (1.40 billion pounds)according to Forbes magazine, and is an avid football and sports fan, had pushed for Pizzi’s dismissal, local media reported.

Portuguese Nuno, 40, ended his playing career in 2010 and as a coach helped Rio Ave reach the finals of the Portuguese Cup and League Cup last season, where they beaten each time by Benfica.

Reporting by Iain Rogers, editing by Stephen Wood