Jose Mourinho takes over as new Tottenham Hotspur head coach

Jose Mourinho has been appointed as the new Tottenham Hotspur head coach, the club announced early on Wednesday morning.

The former Manchester United, Chelsea and Real Madrid manager will take over at Spurs on a deal that runs until the end of the 2022-23 season. Sources have told ESPN that the deal is worth around £15 million a year.

Sources told ESPN on Tuesday that Mourinho was the club's No. 1 candidate -- with no other candidates seriously considered -- after they sacked Mauricio Pochettino following a poor start to the Premier League season. Just hours later, Tottenham confirmed Mourinho as Pochettino's successor.

"In Jose we have one of the most successful managers in football," Spurs chairman Daniel Levy said in a statement. "He has a wealth of experience, can inspire teams and is a great tactician. He has won honours at every club he has coached. We believe he will bring energy and belief to the dressing room."

Mourinho is expected to meet the players at the Tottenham training ground on Wednesday, although sources told ESPN that the Spurs squad had no knowledge of plans to sack Pochettino or replace him with the Portuguese.

Mourinho, 56, will assume full control immediately and is expected to pick the team to face West Ham for his first game on Saturday. Mourinho has initiated a major shake-up of Tottenham's backroom staff, who all left the club along with Pochettino. Joao Sacramento has arrived from Lille as Mourinho's assistant, while goalkeeping coach Nuno Santos has joined from the Ligue 1 side as well. Carlos Lalin, Ricardo Formosinho and Giovanni Cerra have also joined the staff, and sources say Mourinho is keen on bringing in Lille sporting director Luis Campos as well.

The job at Spurs represents the third Premier League club of Mourinho's career. He won three Premier League titles (2004-05, 2005-06, 2014-15) across two stints at Chelsea. From 2016 to 2018, he was in charge of Manchester United, winning the 2016-17 Europa League crown.

His time at United ended in December 2018 following rising tensions at the club, which saw the team make their worst start to a league campaign after 17 games since the 1990-91 season.

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"I am excited to be joining a club with such a great heritage and such passionate supporters," Mourinho said of his appointment. "The quality in both the squad and the academy excites me. Working with these players is what has attracted me."

Mourinho said the club could expect "passion" from him, for his job and for the club, and he expressed his excitement about the team he's inherited.

"It's a privilege when a manager goes to a club and feels that happiness in relation to the squad he is going to have," Mourinho said in an interview posted on the club's website.

"It didn't happen many times. To be honest, the majority of the times we go to clubs and we always think 'We like some, I don't like enough' and you think immediately about what to do to change, what to do to make an approach between your ideas and the profile of the players.

"This is a completely different case, and these are not words of the moment, they are not words of me being the Tottenham head coach, these are words that I told and repeated in the last three, four, five years, even as an opponent."

Overall, Mourinho has managed 305 games in the Premier League -- 212 with Chelsea and 93 with Manchester United.

Mourinho won the Champions League at Porto in 2003 and Inter Milan in 2010 before taking on the Real Madrid job. He failed to win the Champions League trophy with Madrid despite achieving domestic glory in 2011-12.

Pochettino, who moved to Spurs from Southampton in May 2014, led Tottenham to the final of the Champions League last season, where they fell 2-0 to Liverpool in Madrid.

"We were extremely reluctant to make this change and it is not a decision the board has taken lightly, nor in haste," Levy said in a team statement about Pochettino's departure.

"Regrettably domestic results at the end of last season and beginning of this season have been extremely disappointing."

Tottenham finished in the top four of the Premier League for the past four seasons under Pochettino, who had become a much-loved figure among the fans and players.

Reacting to news of Pochettino's departure, Harry Kane wrote on Twitter: "Gaffer. I'll be forever thankful to you for helping me achieve my dreams. We've had some amazing moments in the last five and a half years that I will never forget.

"You were my manager but my friend as well and I thank you for that relationship. Good luck with your next chapter!"

Mourinho's first return to Old Trafford to face Manchester United will be on Dec. 4, with another former club, Chelsea, on Dec. 22.