The 45-year-old, who just led San Lorenzo, the Buenos Aires team supported by Pope Francis, to the Argentine league title, replaces Serbia's Miroslav Djukic who was sacked last week afer just six months at the helm of the Spanish club.

"Valencia have finalised a deal with Juan Antonio Pizzi to make the Argentine the new manager of the club. He will be joined at Valencia by fitness coach Alejandro Richino and assistant Manuel Suarez," the club said in a statement.

The six-time La Liga champions sacked Djukic, 47, after Valencia's 3-0 loss at second-placed Atletico Madrid which left the team in ninth place in the league table.

Pizzi played for Valencia as a striker during the 1993-94 season.

Last week Valencia announced that Singaporean businessman Peter Lim has made a bid to take over financially stricken club and wipe out its debt.

The club has been looking for investors since principal creditor Bankia refused earlier this month to refinance the combined 306 million euro ($418 million, �256 million) debt the club and its foundation has with the bank.

Valencia president Amadeo Salvo said Lim placed a deadline of January 15 for the club and its creditors to decide on his offer.

Lim, 60, has a net worth of $2.05 billion, making him Singapore's fifth richest man, according to Forbes.