Juventus have done as expected and appointed former player Antonio Conte to replace departed manager Luigi Delneri.
Conte re-joins Juventus fresh from leading Siena to promotion from Serie B, and is charged with immediately reviving the fortunes of the Turin club after their seventh-placed finish this season.
Their inability to clinch a spot in European competition inevitably led to change at the helm, with Conte heavily tipped to replace Delneri since Juventus announced on May 21 that the former Sampdoria coach would depart.
Former Italy midfielder Conte made 295 appearances for Juventus during a 12-year stint, retiring in 2004 to pursue a career in coaching.
“Antonio Conte has returned to Juventus. This time to lead them not from the pitch, but from the bench,” a statement on the club’s website confirmed on Tuesday.
“He is the new coach. Conte has signed a two-year contract that will tie him to the Bianconeri until June 30, 2013.”
A Champions League winner as a player, Conte is the third arrival at Juventus since the end of the Serie A season.
Veteran midfielder Andrea Pirlo has been signed from AC Milan, while Swiss defender Reto Ziegler moves from relegated Sampdoria.
But it is Conte’s arrival that has been hailed as the most integral by president Andrea Agnelli: “We want to win, and we want to do it with Conte. He is the first piece of the jigsaw to return successful.”