Following a ten-month wait for a return to senior management, former West Ham United boss Slaven Bilic has found a new club, with Saudi Pro League side Al-lttihad confirming the appointment of the 50-year-old as their new manager on a three-year contract.
Bilic led West Ham to a seventh-placed finish in his first season in charge at Upton Park during the 2016/17 season but failed to guide his side to such heights in the following campaign after the Hammers completed their move to the London Stadium.
The Croatian was subsequently sacked by the Premier League side last November, but Bilic has been handed a new start at the helm of Al-lttihad, as the club confirmed: “The Al-lttihad board has signed a contract with international Croatian coach Slaven Bilic,” a statement read.
“Thanks to the support of Turki Al-Asheikh, chairman of the board, general sports authority, who was present during the signing ceremony,” the club continued in the confirmation.
“Bilic will train Al-lttihad for three seasons. The contract was signed in New York. The board wishes Bilic all success in his new mission to help Al-lttihad regain its outstanding performance.”
Bilic departed east London with West Ham languishing in 18th in the league and was replaced by David Moyes on a short-term basis and the Scottish manager was able to save the Hammers from the drop.
Bilic, contrastingly, has opted to move beyond Europe, with Saudi Arabia now the landscape in which he will look to reboot his managing career, despite having been linked with a number of other English clubs, both in the Premier League and the Championship.
Al-lttihad, meanwhile, have endured a difficult start to their season, losing three of their opening four matches, and Ramon Diaz paid the price with the Argentine sacked by the club after two matches.
Bilic and his new club will now be hoping that his appointment can prove to be an inspired move which benefits all parties.