Everton have confirmed the appointment of Ronald Koeman as their new manager. The Dutchman resigned his position at Southampton before signing a three-year deal to succeed Roberto Martinez at Goodison Park.
Koeman was quickly installed as new billionaire majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri's number one target in May after Martinez was dismissed following heavy defeats to both Leicester City and Sunderland during the penultimate week of the season. The 53-year-old guided Southampton to a seventh-place finish in 2014/15 and saw his stock rise further still this term by ending an impressive campaign one place higher and securing qualification for the group stages of the Europa League.
According to the Liverpool Echo, a £5m ($7.1m) compensation package for Koeman, as well as brother Erwin and fellow assistant Jan Kluitenberg, was agreed last week and the deal has now been formally announced following his return from a family holiday.
"I am very excited to be Everton manager," he said in an official statement released via the club's website. "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."
Chairman Bill Kenwright confirmed that Koeman was indeed Everton's first choice from the outset and praised both his "strong track record in the game" and the respect he commands following a glittering playing career that includes multiple domestic titles in both the Netherlands and Spain in addition to two European Cup triumphs. As a manager, he also won the Eredivisie with Ajax and PSV Eindhoven and lifted the Copa del Rey with Valencia in 2008.
Confirming his exit, Southampton said: "Southampton Football Club can today confirm it has accepted the resignation of First Team Manager Ronald Koeman, and completed negotiations with Everton over his move to Goodison Park.
"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, which culminated in a sixth-place finish in last season's Premier League, as well as qualification for the group stages of the Europa League. Our focus now is to build on our long-term plan, and work with a new management team who share both the club's and our supporters' values and ambitions."