Antonio Conte, who led Chelsea to the FA Cup and Premier League title, has been appointed new head coach of London Premier League rivals Tottenham Hotspur.
Spurs fired Nuno Espirito Santos after just four months in charge following the weekend defeat to Manchester United and moved quickly to bring in the Italian, who has signed an initial contract until the summer of 2023.
Conte, who has also been in charge of Juventus and Italy, has been out of work since leaving Inter Milan at the end of last season after leading them to the Serie A title.
He almost joined the Spurs as Jose Mourinho’s replacement in June but talks broke down at a late stage.
“I am extremely happy to return to coaching, and to do so at a Premier League club that has the ambition to be a protagonist again,” Conte told the club website.
“Tottenham Hotspur has state-of-the-art facilities and one of the best stadiums in the world.
“I can’t wait to start working to convey to the team and the fans the passion, mentality and determination that have always distinguished me, as a player and as a coach.
“Last summer our union did not happen because the end of my relationship with Inter was still too recent and emotionally too involved with the end of the season, so I felt that it wasn’t yet the right time to return to coaching.
“But the contagious enthusiasm and determination of Daniel Levy in wanting to entrust me with this task had already hit the mark. Now that the opportunity has returned, I have chosen to take it with great conviction.”
Spurs have lost five of the last seven Premier League games and have gone two hours and 16 minutes without having a shot on goal.
Conte inherits a team in ninth position in the table, five points off the top four after 10 games.
The Italian, who is expected to be given some funds in January to strengthen the squad, is due to take training on Tuesday and be in charge of Thursday’s Europa Conference League clash with Vitesse Arnhem.
He becomes the fourth manager to cross the divide between Stamford Bridge and north London in the Premier League era, following Glenn Hoddle, Andre Villas-Boas and Mourinho in managing both clubs.