West Ham United have confirmed the appointment of Slaven Bilic as their new manager on a three-year contract.

The 46 year old played 54 times for The Hammers between 1996 and 1997 and returns to Upton Park after spells as coach of the Croatia national team, Lokomotiv Moscow and Besiktas, where he stood down at the end of last season.

Bilic succeeds Sam Allardyce as manager and takes control of West Ham a year prior to their move to the 54,000-capacity Olympic Stadium.

"I'm really glad to be back with West Ham United," Bilic said. "It's in the Premier League, which is among the best in the world. It's a big challenge and you are competing with the best and what better club to do it with than West Ham.

"I remember West Ham as a special club. I love these kinds of special clubs. My last club, Besiktas, was that kind of club. It's not about the size – West Ham is big club – there is something special about them, they are cult clubs.

"It is a great place to play and I felt like I was at home. It is a big privilege and a big responsibility to now be manager and I hope that I will prove it to the board, players and fans.

"My first priority when choosing a club is to look at its ambitions. When I spoke to the chairmen and Karen Brady, they made clear that not only is it a fantastic new stadium we are moving into, but they showed their determination and ambition to make what is a big club even bigger.

"I saw their determination and passion. That was the number one reason. I could feel that they really wanted me so it was an easy choice.

"I would say to the West Ham fans that I will give my best and together we will achieve great things."

After a season-long spell with West Ham, Bilic moved to Premier League rivals Everton for three years before finishing his professional career at Hajduk Split.

Bilic enjoyed a stellar international career, helping Croatia finish third at the 1998 World Cup, but his success was overshadowed by his role in the dismissal of France's Laurent Blanc in the semi-final, which saw the defender miss the final.

As a manager, Bilic has enjoyed varied success with Hajduk Split and then Croatia, who he took to the quarter-finals of the 2008 European Championships but crashed out of the group stages at the 2010 World Cup.

Spells at Lokomotiv, who he guided to their worst league finish in 21 years, and Besiktas have followed before his belated return to English football.