West Ham have confirmed the appointment of Manuel Pellegrini as their new manager on a three-year deal.
The 64-year-old Chilean, who has previously enjoyed spells in charge of Real Madrid and Manchester City, left his role with Hebei China Fortune over the weekend to join the Hammers.
Pellegrini will become the highest-paid manager in the club’s history. It is understood he will receive around £7m a year, although he will be taking a significant pay cut having earned around £16m a year in China.
“I am excited about this project,” said Pellegrini, in a statement released on Tuesday. “My mentality is always to have a winning mentality and I will hope that I can repeat here what I did with all my clubs here in Europe, where I have always arrived in European competition.
“I know that this league is very good and it’s not easy to do it, but I think that working all together with the owners, the technical staff and the fans, we have an important power and can think about reaching important targets for the season.
“I think West Ham has a very good team. I know all of the players and I saw most of the games that they played last season, so I am sure that, with the players we have in this moment in the squad, and bringing maybe another four or five players in, we are going to have a strong team.”
West Ham co-chairman David Sullivan said: “I am delighted to welcome Manuel Pellegrini to West Ham United. He is one of the world’s most respected football coaches and we look forward to working with him.
“It was important that we appointed someone with knowledge and experience of the Premier League, who already has an understanding – not only of the teams and players we face – but of West Ham United and our ambitions.
“Manuel brings a reputation for attacking football and getting the best out of his players. We believe he will attract new talent to the London Stadium as well as improving the current squad.
“Above all, he is a winner, who knows what it takes to succeed at the highest level and is driven to continue that success.
“Manuel is the first West Ham United manager to have a Premier League title on his CV, and we believe that his experience, quality and proven record of taking teams forward quickly will ensure that he is successful here.
“We have listened to fans who asked us to be ambitious. We hope they agree it is an exciting appointment.
“Manuel will shortly announce the names of the new staff he will bring in and he will then get down to shaping the squad he wants. We all wish him the very best of luck.”
Pellegrini began his managerial career in South America before moving to Spain in 2004, where he managed Villarreal, Real Madrid and Malaga.
The Chilean took charge of Manchester City in 2013 and guided the club to the Premier League title in 2013-14, as well as two League Cups triumphs in 2014 and 2016.
Despite those successes, he left the club at the end of his three-year contract with Pep Guardiola taking over at the Etihad for the start of the 2016-17 campaign.