Roberto Di Matteo was appointed as West Brom head coach on Tuesday night following a unanimous decision by the club's board.
The 39-year-old signed a 12-month rolling contract to lead the the Baggies, who were relegated from the Barclays Premier League last season and have been searching for a new manager since Tony Mowbray left for Celtic earlier this month. Di Matteo enjoyed a successful first season in charge of MK Dons as they missed a second consecutive automatic promotion by just two points before losing to Scunthorpe in the play-offs.
But despite the Italian's inexperience, West Brom chairman Jeremy Peace reports the board needed little convincing to appoint him. "I am delighted with Roberto's appointment, which concludes an intensive selection process during which over 40 names were considered," Peace said in a statement.
He continued: "We short-listed two outstanding candidates, spoke to both of them after receiving permission from their clubs, and ultimately Roberto was the unanimous choice of the board."
Preston manager Alan Irvine was the other candidate of the two-man short-list.
North End chairman Derek Shaw had admitted the Scot's contract meant they were obliged to allow him to talk to Albion. But a statement revealed he had decided to remain at Deepdale.
Whether that decision was made after notification of Di Matteo's appointment is unknown, but what is certain is the deal to bring the former Chelsea midfielder to the Hawthorns was a quickly-negotiated one.
MK Dons revealed in a statement of their own that they had first fielded an approach from West Brom only on Monday.
It read: "Having enjoyed an extremely successful first season in Milton Keynes, his first managerial position, it came as little surprise that Robby's undoubted qualities would prove attractive to a club at a higher level.
"While we are extremely disappointed to lose our manager so close to the pre-season, we recognise that the opportunity at the Hawthorns represents a big step forward in Robby's career."
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