Espanyol fires Mauricio Pochettino as coach

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MADRID (AP) -- The Spanish club Espanyol says it has fired coach Mauricio Pochettino and sports director Ramon Planes, but has not immediately said who will replace the pair.

Espanyol is in last place in the Spanish league after a 2-0 home defeat to Getafe on Sunday, with nine points from 13 games played this season.

"Mauricio Pochettino will today stop being coach to the first team," the club said in a statement Monday. It also said there would be a press conference later in the day.

The former Argentina, Espanyol, Paris Saint-Germain and Bordeaux central defender took over as coach in late January 2009 with the side third from bottom.

Persistent media reports in the Spanish press on Monday have linked the club to Javier Aguirre and Marcelino Garcia Toral as possible successors to Pochettino.

Mexican born Aguirre last coached Real Zaragoza, a job he held until December 2011, but has also been Mexico's national coach.

Garcia Toral played as an attacking midfielder and was appointed as coach to Sevilla for this season but was fired in February following a run of seven games without a win.