Zhuhai: Portuguese Andre Villas-Boas, the former coach of Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur, on Friday replaced Swede Sven-Goran Eriksson as the new head coach of Shanghai SIPG soccer club.
Villas-Boas, who recently ended his contract with Russia’s Zenit Saint Petersburg club after two seasons, signed up with the Chinese club here, reports Efe.
The news came as a surprise amid rumours that the 68-year-old Eriksson, former coach of England and with nearly 40 years of professional experience across four continents, was interested in signing British forward Wayne Rooney for the Shanghai club.
However, SIPG finished third in the current Chinese league — which ended last week — and was runners up in 2015, which likely prompted the club to scout for a new coach instead.
If rumours are to be believed, SIPG will be paying the 39-year-old Portuguese a whopping $12 million per season.
According to reports in the Chinese media, Villas-Boas, who is already popular among soccer fans in the country where he is referred to as “Junior Mourinho”, was recommended by the team’s Brazilian forward Hulk.