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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 October 2018

Former West Ham manager Slaven Bilic takes charge of Al Ittihad in Saudi Arabia

Croatian brought in on a three-season deal by the club in Jeddah

Slaven Bilic is the new manager of Al Ittihad. Action Images via Reuters
Slaven Bilic is the new manager of Al Ittihad. Action Images via Reuters

Former West Ham United manager Slaven Bilic has returned to club management after being appointed coach of Saudi Arabia side Al Ittihad.

The Croatian, who has been out of work since being dismissed by West Ham in November last year, had his appointment announced on Twitter by the Saudi Premier League club.

A tweet from the Jeddah-based club said: "Ittihad board has signed a contract with international Croatian coach Slaven Bilic, thanks to the support of Turki Al-Asheikh, chairman of the board, general sports authority, who was present during the signing ceremony.

'Bilic will train Ittihad for three seasons. The contract was signed in New York and the ceremony was attended by Eng. Firas Al Turki, assistant chairman of Ittihad board. The board wishes Bilic all success in his new mission to help Ittihad regain its outstanding performance."

Al Ittihad have not been league champions in Saudi Arabia since 2009, and their best recent finish was runners-up in 2011.

Bilic has managed Croatia, as well as Lokomotiv Moscow and Besiktas, before during his reign at West Ham he guided them to the FA Cup quarter-finals in 2016 and a seventh-place finish.

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