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Andre Villas-Boas to become Zenit St Petersburg boss

| 18.03.2014

Portuguese manager Andre Villas-Boas has agreed to two-year deal to succeed Luciano Spalletti as Zenit St Petersburg boss.

An official statement on the Russian Premier League club’s website confirmed the appointment and AVB, 36, will be presented to the media on March 20th.

Italian coach Spalletti was sacked following a run of one win in 11 in all competitions for Zenit, stretching either side of Russian football’s winter break.

Assistant Sergey Semak, national captain at Euro 2008, was placed in caretaker charge and will be in the dugout for their Champions League last 16 trip to Borussia Dortmund.

Zenit are 4-2 down from the first leg, and 8/1 outsiders to win at the Westfalenstadion and qualify for the quarter-finals at 20/1.

Villas-Boas will once again link up with Brazilian attacker Hulk in St Petersburg. The pair won a historic Portuguese league, cup and Europa League treble together at Porto in 2011. Hulk scored 36 goals in all competitions during that hugely successful campaign.

A protégé of compatriot Jose Mourinho, AVB was Chelsea boss between June 2011 and March 2012. He was sacked, however, amid rumours of dressing room unrest, but soon returned to management at Tottenham the following July, succeeding Harry Redknapp.

With Spurs, Villas-Boas finished fifth in his first season in charge, but lost his job in December following heavy losses at Manchester City (5/4 favourites for the Premier League title) and at home to Liverpool (10/3 to be champions).

Zenit trail Lokomotiv Moscow by three points in the Russian top-flight and caretaker Semak lost their last outing at capital club CSKA 1-0.

Former head coach Dick Advocaat, now at Eredivisie outfit AZ Alkmaar, had been linked with a return to St Petersburg (where he won the UEFA Cup in 2008), but AVB has landed the role.

Villas-Boas will have compatriots Luis Neto and Danny – both Portugal internationals that are set to be on Paulo Bento’s World Cup roster – available to him in key areas of the Zenit squad.



Jamie Clark

Athletics aficionado, die-hard snooker fan and Crystal Palace supporter Jamie has written for Coral since February 2014 after spells with Soccerlens and the Press Association as a digital journalist and copywriter. A former East Midlands sports correspondent and Bwin tipster, he is a graduate of both the University of York and University of Sheffield, with a Masters in web journalism from the latter.