Everton have appointed Ronald Koeman as their new manager on a three-year deal after the Dutchman resigned his position at Southampton.
Koeman still had a contract for one more season at St Mary’s Stadium, but will now continue his career at Everton instead.
The Goodison Park side were in the market for a new manager following the dismissal of Roberto Martinez in May and had been linked with candidates such as Manuel Pellegrini, Frank de Boer and their former boss David Moyes in recent weeks.
However, they have now opted to appoint ex-Netherlands international Koeman following the 53-year-old’s fine work with Southampton over the past two years.
He guided Southampton to seventh place in the table in his first season at St. Mary’s, booking a ticket for the Europa League in the process, only to do one better in 2015-16 as they finished sixth, setting a new club record with 63 points.
In a statement, 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 [major 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.”
After two underwhelming seasons under Martinez, Everton will be hoping Koeman can replicate his success with Southampton at Goodison Park.
Martinez led Everton to fifth place in his first season in 2013-14, but they had to settle for 11th in the following two campaigns.
Koeman previously coached Vitesse, Ajax, Benfica, PSV, Valencia, AZ and Feyenoord before making his way to the Premier League in 2014.