Bilbao set to hire Marcelino García Toral as new coach

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MADRID (AP) -- Athletic Bilbao is set to hire Marcelino Garcia Toral to replace Gaizka Garitano as its coach, the Spanish club said Sunday.

Bilbao said in a statement that it reached an ''agreement in principle'' with Garcia Toral to coach until June 2022.

Bilbao announced Garitano's departure following the team's 1-0 win over Elche that left it in the middle of the La Liga standings. The Basque Country club did not specify the terms of the Garitano's exit.

Garcia Toral has coached over 400 games with several Spanish clubs, including Valencia, Villarreal, and Sevilla.

Garitano took over Bilbao in December 2018 and helped it avoid relegation. Last season, he led the team to the Copa del Rey final, which was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic and has yet to be played.

The team, however, has struggled this season with 21 points from 17 games. It hosts Barcelona on Wednesday and plays at league leader Atletico Madrid on Saturday.

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