On 8 October 2013, Petev was appointed as the coach of Levski Sofia, which drew the ire of a number of FC Levski supporters (due to a presumed conflict of interest because of his previous managerial appointments) who pulled off a Levski Sofia shirt he was wearing, forcing him to resign a day later.
In October 2013, Petev signed a contract with Cypriot side AEL Limassol. He led AEL to finish first in the regular season's league table, three points ahead Apollon Limassol and APOEL Nicosia, which resulted in the qualification for the play-offs. Although leading the group until the last round, AEL lost the title in the deciding match with APOEL . Despite this defeat, AEL qualified for the 2014-15 UEFA Champions League season. Petev led the team to a surprise 1-0 win against Zenit Saint Petersburg in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round, but his team failed to keep the advantage and lost the second leg 0-3 thus being eliminated and placed in the Europa League. Here they were drawn against the English club, Tottenham Hotspur.