Kerala Blasters have pulled off a coup of sorts by securing the services of former Manchester United coach Rene Meulensteen for the upcoming Indian Super League season.
The Dutchman will take over from Steve Coppell, who has joined the new Tata Stell owned outfit Jamshedpur FC. Initially, former Manchester City manager Stuart Pearce was in talks to take over the job. However, it was Meulensteen who has been finally handed the hot seat.
When Goal contacted Meulensteen earlier in the day, he replied, "Have the club announced the news yet? I cannot comment on this until they do."
Kerala Blasters CEO Varun Tripuraneni subsequently told Goal, "We are happy to bring a top coach onboard and hopefully things will work out well for us."
The 53-year-old is well known for 11 years he spent in various coaching capacities at Manchester United under the reign of the legendary Sir Alex Ferguson, in two spells.
More importantly, the Dutchman was the first-team coach at United from 2007 onward as he played an integral role in the Red Devils winning three Premier League titles and a Champions League title in 2008.
He left United at the end of the 2012-13 season when Sir Alex Ferguson retired, with incoming boss David Moyes bringing his own support staff. He went on to assist Guus Hiddink at Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala where he went on to take over as manager after Hiddink left. But he was sacked only 16 days into the job.
Meulensteen then took over Fulham FC in November 2013 but was sacked in February following poor results, with German manager Felix Magath replacing him.
Though he had another unsuccessful stint at Israel's Maccabi Haifa, there's no denying the coaching experience the Dutchman boasts.