Paulo Fonseca has officially signed his new two-year contract with Shakhtar Donetsk.
Sportsmail exclusively revealed this week that the Portuguese coach traveled with his agent on Monday to the Essex mansion of West Ham chairman David Sullivan to discuss the current managerial vacancy at the London Stadium.
The Hammers are searching for a successor for David Moyes after his contract expired this month and wasted no time by inviting Fonseca for a meeting.
Paulo Fonseca (right) is pictured signing his new two-year contract with Shakhtar Donetsk
The 45-year-old led the Ukrainian side to domestic success and the Champions League last 16
Sullivan spent 75 minutes trying to persuade Fonseca to become the new Hammers boss but an agreement was not met and the coach has opted to stick with the Ukrainian champions.
Shakhtar made the announcement on Thursday night that the 45-year-old had committed his future to them, and have revealed pictures of their manager signing his new contract.
‘I’m very happy! I had a desire to continue my career at Shakhtar,’ Fonseca said on the club’s official website. ‘It was absolutely important to feel that the club president Rinat Akhmetov, the employees and the footballers want me to stay, to continue the job that we started two seasons ago.
‘Again, I’m really happy to have extended the contract with the Donetsk club.’
(Left to right) Fonseca poses with the Ukrainian league title, Ukrainian Cup and Super Cup
Fonseca (left) expressed his joy at extending his contract and is excited for the future
Fonseca had drawn the interest of West Ham with the impressive performances his side put on this season, most notably in the Champions League.
Shakhtar impressively made it out of a group that included Manchester City and Napoli – where they also beat City 2-1 at home in the final group game – to progress into the last 16 where they were narrowly beaten 3-1 on aggregate by eventual semi-finalists Roma.
Having made significant impact since arriving two years ago, Fonseca is determined to continue his work and move the club on further.
‘Now we need to work hard to continue winning both domestically and internationally,’ he added. ‘Shakhtar will still demonstrate some beautiful, attacking football. I believe that the supporters will be proud of their club.
‘I want to thank our fans for their excellent support. The Miners have just fantastic fans who are very fond of the team. For me, this was another reason for staying here.’
The Shakhtar boss flew into England on Monday to meet West Ham chairman David Sullivan
The Shakhtar boss was seen leaving Sullivan’s Essex mansion after a 75-minute meeting
Fonseca holds a Shakhtar scarf in the air after committing his future to the Ukrainian side
Shakhtar president Akhmetov commented: ‘Do you remember how two years ago, we appointed Paulo at Shakhtar and everyone shouted, ‘What’s going to happen to Shakhtar now? Now everything will go wrong with Shakhtar, there will be problems. We don’t know what to expect’.
‘And what do we see? Two league titles, two cups, one Super Cup and a brilliant Champions League campaign.
‘This shows that Shakhtar made the right decision two years ago by appointing Paulo and his assistants.
‘Now we’ve signed a new contract and I’m confident that new successes await us in the future. Paulo is a professional. He’s an ambitious man, an industrious man and he’s got great ideas. He knows what to do.’
Shakhtar players celebrate their Champions League victory over Manchester City this season
For West Ham, meanwhile, they will move on to the next candidate for Moyes’ replacement.
Moyes guided the Hammers out of the relegation zone and to a 13th-placed finish in the Premier League after taking over in November, but Sullivan decided the club needed to move in a ‘different direction’ with a ‘high-calibre figure’.
Having announced on Wednesday that Moyes would be leaving and that they planned to have a new manager in place within 10 days, they have little over a week to find their man.
Fonseca had been tipped to replace David Moyes but says ‘I’m very happy’ to stay at Shakhtar