PORTUGAL coach Luiz Felipe Scolari will become the new Chelsea manager on July 1. Scolari, who is currently masterminding Portugal’s Euro 2008 challenge, has accepted an offer to replace Avram Grant at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea have confirmed that the Brazilian World-Cup winning coach will take charge after the European Championship.
“Chelsea Football Club is delighted to confirm that Luiz Felipe Scolari will be the club’s new manager from July 1, 2008,” read a club statement.
“Felipe has great qualities. He is one of the world’s top coaches with a record of success at country and club level, he gets the best out of a talented squad of players and his ambitions and expectations match ours. “Out of respect for his current role as head coach of the Portuguese national team, and to ensure minimum disruption to this work, there will be no further comment from Chelsea FC nor from Felipe about his new role until his employment with us commences.”
Since sacking Grant last month, Chelsea had been linked with a string of high-profile coaches across the continent.
Carlo Ancelotti had appeared to be the favourite for the role before confirming his intention to stay in the Milan hot seat.
Scolari has yet to coach at club level in Europe, but won the Copa Libertadores during stints in charge of Gremio and Palmeiras.
He led Brazil to World Cup success in 2002 before later taking on the Portugal job and leading the host nation to the final of Euro 2004. The 59-year-old had been in the running to replace Eriksson as England coach in 2006 before deciding to stay with Portugal.
His contract with the Portuguese Football Federation expires after Euro 2008. —— BBC Sport