Harry Redknapp has sensationally been confirmed as the new manager of Championship strugglers Birmingham City, more than two years on from his last club management role. Italian Gianfranco Zola resigned on Easter Monday [17 April] after defeat to Burton Albion left the club three points above the relegation zone with three games remaining.

The 70-year-old, formerly of AFC Bournemouth, West Ham United, Portsmouth, Southampton, Tottenham Hotspur and Queens Park Rangers, had most recently been working as an adviser to the Jordan Football Association. In March 2016, he took charge of two World Cup qualifiers, beating Bangladesh 8-0 and losing 5-1 to Australia.

Harry Redknapp
Birmingham will hope 24 years as a manager can haul them away from relegation trouble. Reuters

He joins a Birmingham side who are hovering nervously above the Championship drop zone and have not won since February 's Midlands derby success over Wolverhampton Wanderers. The 2008 FA Cup winner will begin his tenure at the helm against Aston Villa on Sunday 23 April.

A club statement read: "We believe that under the leadership of Redknapp, Blues will enhance their strength and create achievement."

Zola replaced Garry Rowett at St Andrews in December but won just two of his 24 games in charge as the club went from the fringes of play-off places to the foot of the second tier in the space of four months. The Chelsea legend cited a failure to match "huge expectations" during his spell with the Blues which ended with the 2-0 home loss to fellow relegation contenders Burton.