Gary O’Neil has agreed an 18-month deal to become the new Bournemouth head coach after 12 matches as interim head coach.
O’Neil took charge of the Cherries at the end of August following the sacking of Scott Parker and has impressed in his first managerial role. The deal has an option of a further 12 months depending on results.
Bournemouth have won four, drawn four and lost four under the 39-year-old and are 14th in the Premier League, three points above the relegation zone.
Ex-Leeds head coach Marcelo Bielsa had held discussions with the Dorset club over a potential return to the Premier League, but it is O’Neil who the Bournemouth hierarchy feel deserves to continue in the dugout and is both a players’ and fans’ favourite.
The decision to appoint O’Neil has been made despite the Premier League not approving the £120m takeover by Las Vegas-based businessman Bill Foley. It is thought the deal will be rubber-stamped within the next couple of weeks after a lengthy directors and owners test by the Premier League.
Bournemouth chief executive Neill Blake said: “Gary did an excellent job on an interim basis and the board are delighted to make his position as head coach permanent.
“We have been impressed with the way he has conducted himself from the moment he joined the club and feel he has earned this opportunity to continue to take the team and the club forward.
O’Neil’s time in charge has changed the dynamic down on the south coast after a sticky start to the season.
Bournemouth have scored 12 goals in their last four games and kept three clean sheets during that spell, showing qualities at both ends of the pitch.
Bournemouth are back in training on Monday after the squad were given time off following their win at home to Everton. O’Neil has been watching games at the World Cup.