Bournemouth have appointed Andoni Iraola as their new manager, following the departure of Gary O’Neil.
The Cherries announced that O’Neil would be leaving the Vitality Stadium “in the best interests of the club”, following their survival from the Premier League – and have sought to make Iraola the first-ever overseas manager in their history.
“We’re so excited to welcome Andoni to the club,” Bournemouth owner and chairman Bill Foley said. “With his contract in Spain coming to an end this summer we wanted to act quickly.
“He was highly sought after by other clubs across the continent, and his style of play has been an important factor in making this decision. His achievements in Spain have certainly been very impressive, and we’re confident that he is the right man to lead our next chapter.
“We have identified a number of targets in the transfer market, which along with our January additions will supplement our strong playing squad to give Andoni the best chance to consolidate our Premier League status and keep progressing.”
Iraola has been at Rayo Vallecano in La Liga for the past three seasons and was reportedly approached by Leeds United this season to replace Jesse Marsch. The Spanish outfit refused to release their manager from his contract, however.
In his first season managing in the Spanish top flight, Iraola led his side to 12th in La Liga, beating Barcelona home and away, while last season, he beat both Barça and Real Madrid. He has been compared to tactically to the likes of Marcelo Bielsa and usually operates with a 4-2-3-1.
Bournemouth finished 15th last season.