River Plate appoints Diaz as manager

River Plate appointed Ramon Diaz as its new coach Thursday to replace Matias Almeyda, who left saying he’d lost the support of club president Daniel Passarella.

River Plate said in a statement that Diaz would sign a contract Friday.

Diaz has strong connections to River Plate, where he was a striker in his playing days. He also coach River Plate during two stints more than a decade ago and has coached Argentine clubs San Lorenzo and Independiente.

Diaz won four league titles coaching River and also won the Copa Libertadores title in 1996 and the South American Super Cup in 1997.

As a player he also won four titles with River Plate.

River Plate, with a record 33 league titles, is struggling near the middle of the Argentine first-division standings and is concerned about possible relegation. In June 2011 the famous Buenos Aires club was demoted to the second division for the first time in its history.