Everton have confirmed the appointment of Ronald Koeman as manager on a three-year deal, with the promise of a huge transfer kitty persuading the Dutchman quit his role at Southampton.
The former Barcelona defender has been lured to Goodison Park as a replacement for Roberto Martinez, who was sacked at the end of a dismal campaign in which the Toffees only managed to finish 11th.
Koeman impressed with Southampton once again last term, securing Europa League football with a sixth-placed finish, ending up only three points behind Manchester City in the top four.
A compensation fee of around £5million has been agreed and Koeman, who is currently on holiday, will take brother Erwin and fitness coach Jan Kluitenberg with him to Goodison Park.
Koeman ‘excited’ to be at Everton
“I am very excited to be Everton manager. I believe in the club, in the team, in the fans and in our ability to achieve things in the future,” Koeman told the club’s official website.
“Everton is a club with a great history and real ambition and it is a proud feeling for me to be part of what we want to go and do, together with the chairman and (majority shareholder) Farhad Moshiri.
“I am looking forward to meeting everyone at the club and to preparing for a big season in the Premier League.”
Everton chairman Bill Kenwright added: “We are really pleased to have secured the man who was our number one target from the moment we set out to appoint a new manager.
“Ronald has such a strong track record in the game, instantly commanding respect for what he achieved as a player and for his qualities and accomplishments as a manager.
“The hopes and aspirations that we all have as Evertonians are with him, as is our total support at board, shareholder and fan level.”
Koeman, who was won the Dutch league with Ajax and PSV Eindhoven, will now look to restore Everton’s place in the upper echelons of the Premier League – and will be handed a huge transfer kitty to help revive the Toffees.
The Toffees will have fresh investment ahead of the new season following the takeover of Farhad Moshiri at the club and he is expected to be handed around £100million to spend this summer.
Koeman has already been linked with goalkeepers Kasper Schmeichel and Fraser Forster and Graziano Pelle, while the papers on Tuesday suggested Koeman was looking into a deal for West Brom’s Saido Berahino.
However, Koeman’s immediate priority will be to try and keep star trio Romelu Lukaku, John Stones and Ross Barkley, with the trio heavily linked with moves away from Goodison Park.
Southampton search for successor
Southampton started their search for a replacement as soon as the compensation deal had been thrashed out with Everton.
The Saints confirmed on Tuesday they had accepted Koeman’s resignation and were now targeting his successor.
“The search has already begun for the right appointment who can take the club to the next level and build on our track record of recent success, which culminated in a sixth-place finish in last season’s Premier League, as well as qualification for the group stages of the Europa League,” Southampton said in a statement.
“Our focus now is to build on our long-term plan, and work with a new management team who share both the club’s and our supporters’ values and ambitions.”