MARCO SILVA is back in English football after taking over as Fulham boss.
The Cottagers moved quickly for the Portuguese following Scott Parker’s long-awaited exit on Monday.
Silva has signed a three-year deal with the West Londoners, who were relegated back to the Championship last season.
The former Everton boss, 43, said: “I’m really pleased and proud to be appointed Head Coach of such a historic football club.
“I want to thank the owner, Mr (Shahid) Khan, (director of football) Tony Khan and the entire football structure of Fulham Football Club, for the trust shown in us.
“I’m excited to get started and my message for our fans ahead of this big challenge is we will all be working very hard together to be successful so they can feel proud at the end of the season.”
Fulham wanted a new man in this week as their players returned to pre-season training on Monday.
They had been left blindsided by Parker’s desire to leave to join rivals Bournemouth.
It took several weeks of negotiations before the ex-England star left by mutual consent on Monday and hours later he was announced as the new Cherries chief.
The Cottagers moved swiftly to secure Silva, who wowed owner Khan to the point where he overlooked other candidates including Chris Wilder.
Supremo Khan added: “I met Marco Silva in Portugal last week and was inspired. Marco’s body of work in football was evident, but listening to him break down in detail his experiences at each of his stops as a head coach was thoroughly impressive.
“Marco also came prepared, with a full understanding of the players we have and ideas on how we can move forward this season.
“I loved his energy and optimism, and I’m confident Marco Silva is the right choice to lead Fulham Football Club as our new Head Coach.”
Ex-Hull and Watford chief Silva had been out work since December 2019 after leaving Everton.
Silva is set to be joined by former Cottagers star Luis Boa Morte, who was his assistant manager as Everton.
While Silva is also understood to be keen on keeping star striker Aleksandar Mitrovic, whose future has been in doubt following relegation from the Premier League.
The Serb, 26, was used sparingly by Parker and was reported to be keen on a move away from the club had the former England midfielder stayed.
Fulham rejected a £16million bid for Mitrovic, who scored 26 Championship goals two seasons ago, from Russian side Dynamo Moscow last month.