Everton have appointed Ronald Koeman as their new manager on a three-year deal. The Dutchman has penned a contract that will keep him at Goodison Park until June 2019.
The Blues have prised Koeman from Southampton, where he guided them to their record finish in the Premier League last season. The two parties finally agreed a compensation package reported to be around the £5 million mark after the Koeman and the Blues had agreed personal terms last week. The deal is reportedly set to make Koeman one of the highest-paid managers in the league with a contract of £6 million per-year signed.
The former Ajax, PSV and Feyernoord boss takes over from Roberto Martinez who was sacked last month, after new majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri felt he was not the man to lead the Blues in a new era of investment for the club.
In a statement released by Everton on evertonfc.com this morning, Koeman 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.”
Blues Chairman Bill Kenwright echoed Koeman’s enthusiasm in the statement and said: “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.”
There were rumours in the Everton camp of a relationship breakdown between the players and Martinez, something the Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku alluded to before the European Championships began in France last week. Lukaku told Reuters: “The team did not perform at all. We won two of our last 11 games. When things are broken between the manager and the players it become difficult.” This instigated the dismissal of Martinez as the board were unwilling to risk players leaving what could arguably be described as one of the best Everton squad’s the team has had in recent history.
Koeman’s appointment comes hot on the heels after British-Iranian businessman Moshiri, with a personal fortune thought to be of around £1.3 billion, sold his shares in Arsenal to become the majority shareholder at Everton. Moshiri has reportedly promised Koeman extensive financial backing, with or without the huge transfer funds expected from the potential sales of Lukaku and John Stones this summer. The arrival of Koeman heralds a new dawn at Everton and the return of a sleeping giant.
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