Yes, you read it right, the former Chelsea and Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas will replace Sven-Goran Eriksson as coach of Shanghai SIPG. This will make him the top name in the extravagant Chinese Super league.
The 39-year-old Villas-Boas is “young, full of passion and with a wealth of coaching experience,” the club said in a statement on its official Weibo microblog.
“We believe Villas-Boas’ arrival will further enrich the team’s technical and tactical play, stimulate the potential of more young players, and lead the team closer to a higher goal,” the club said.
Boas made his mark at FC Porto and was briefly involved with Chelsea and Tottenham in the Premier League before he shifted to Zenit St. Peterburg in Russia. Reports suggest that his salary has been fixed at a whopping $14 million. The reports are unconfirmed though.
Shanghai SIPG ended as runner-up and third place finishes in the Chinese Super League in two seasons respectively and to the quarterfinals of the Asian Champions League under the patronage of Eriksson.
It is now well known that the clubs in the Chinese Super League have spent more tham $400 million on foreign players in 2016 while coaches like Eriksson, Luiz Felipe Scolari and Manuel Pellegrini have also lifted the international profile of the league.
Brazi international Hulk’s $62 million transfer fee from Zenit St. Petersburg set an Asian record. Hulk played under Villas-Boas at Zenit St. Petersburg and SIPG management will be looking to the combination to help challenge the supremacy of the Scolari-helmed Guangzhou Evergrande, who have won the league for the last six seasons.