LONDON • Everton have confirmed the appointment of Ronald Koeman as their manager, with the Dutch coach signing a three-year deal to succeed Roberto Martinez at Goodison Park.
The former Southampton manager was identified as the prime candidate for the Everton vacancy by the English Premier League football club's major shareholder, Farhad Moshiri, who took the decision to end Martinez's three-year tenure before the end of last season.
Moshiri lured the former Ajax, Valencia and Benfica coach north with a lucrative salary, understood to be £6 million (S$11.4 million) a year, and the promise of the biggest transfer budget in the club's history.
The deal was agreed in principle last week after Everton met Southampton's £5 million compensation demands for Koeman, assistant manager Erwin Koeman and coach Jan Kluitenberg.
However, it was only ratified after the 53-year-old's return from holiday this week.
Koeman, a European Cup winner as a player with PSV Eindhoven and Barcelona, who joined Southampton in 2014 and led them to seventh- and sixth-placed finishes in the Premier League, said: "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.
"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 Farhad Moshiri.
"I am looking forward to meeting everyone at the club and to preparing for a big season in the Premier League."
Everton also considered Frank de Boer, Manuel Pellegrini and Unai Emery, but Koeman was always the first choice, with Moshiri aiming to revive the club's fortunes and relocate to a new stadium.
Chairman Bill Kenwright said: "We are really pleased to have secured the man who was our No. 1 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."
Koeman's compatriot de Boer is now one of the favourites to replace him at Southampton.
"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," the club said.
THE GUARDIAN, REUTERS