According to Sam Wallace and Julian Bennetts of the Telegraph: Current Southampton manager Ronald Koeman has rejected a contract extension with the club, and agreed to be Everton’s new manager. While compensation between the clubs is not yet agreed, it is not expected to be a major stumbling block.
The 53-year-old joins up with the Blues after spending two seasons with Premier League rivals Southampton. He succeeds Roberto Martinez, who was sacked last month after his second successive disappointing campaign in charge of the Merseyside outfit.
Koeman, meanwhile, led the Saints to two consecutive top seven finishes, despite a number of key players being sold.
Since Martinez’s departure, it is believed Koeman has been Everton’s number one choice to take the Goodison hotseat.
Yet, in his press conference before Southampton’s final Premier League game of the season at home to Crystal Palace, Koeman brushed away talks of leaving before his three-year contract was up. But on the Dutchman’s return from holiday last week, reports emerged that Everton had made a second approach and this time he was willing to talk.
According to the Daily Mirror, Farhad Moshiri’s pledge of a £100m transfer kitty plus the money raised in Romelu Lukaku’s sale proved a crucial factor in Koeman’s decision to leave the south coast for Merseyside.
It’s a warchest neither Everton nor Koeman have ever had at their disposal, though Koeman has had a fair amount of success in his days prior to Southampton.
After starting his managerial career at Vitesse Arnhem, he spent four seasons in charge of Ajax, where he won the league and cup double in his first season. He would lift the Eredivise twice more as a manager – with Ajax in 2004 and PSV Eindhoven in 2007.
Post-PSV his career as a manager suffered somewhat of a trough. Despite leading Valencia to their first Copa Del Rey since 1999, their woeful league form left them in 15th, just two points above the relegation. He was sacked in April 2008, just six months after his appointment.
Koeman did not last long at his next club either. In May 2009, he signed with AZ Alkmaar, but after a poor start to the 2009/10 season he was sacked before the year was out.
The two-time European Cup winner (As a player with PSV and Barcelona) got his career back on track with a solid three-year tenure at Feynoord, before being attracted to the Premier League. Koeman arrived at Southampton the same summer that Adam Lallana, Rickie Lambert, Dejan Lovren, Luke Shaw and Callum Chambers all left the club.
Many tipped the Saints to struggle, but they finished an impressive seventh place. The following season they went one better, breaking into the top six.
Now, with Moshiri’s millions to play with he’ll be expected to go even further. Koeman will bring with him his own coaching staff, including his older brother Erwin as his number two. Meanwhile, Everton are also looking to appoint a Director of Football as they adopt a new structure at Goodison Park.
The Liverpool Echo believe Sevilla Director, Monchi, is Everton’s preferred choice for the role. New Blues boss, Koeman, has previously worked in similar set ups at PSV, Valencia and Southampton.
It is believe that Southampton will turn to Eddie Howe or Sevilla Manager Unai Emery as Koeman’s replacement.