Fulham beat Villa in race to sign Jol as new manager

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Fulham have been quick to name their successor to Mark Hughes after signing former Tottenham manager Martin Jol to an initial two-year contract.

Jol was always at the forefront of any Fulham shortlist and was trading at 1/4 moments before his appointment was confirmed.

Jol has long been keen to return to the Premier League following his prior successful stint at Tottenham, while his most recent job was at Ajax for much of last season.

He said: “I am very happy to join Fulham Football Club, a wonderful traditional club. It is a club with good, solid foundations and a great fan base.

“I am looking forward to being part of the Fulham family and thank the chairman for the trust he’s shown in me.”

The club have also stipulated in the contract they have the option of signing Jol to a further year at the end of his two-year stint.

Meanwhile, it is rumoured that Fulham are keen to bring in Chris Hughton to work alongside Jol, with the pair having developed a good partnership previously at Tottenham.

The appointment of Jol may not be seen as good news by some Aston Villa supporters as a few of their leading targets to replace Gerard Houllier are ruling themselves out of the job.

Jol was one of the names towards the top of their shortlist, while Carlo Ancelotti has announced that he is taking a year out of management.

Former Fulham boss Hughes is one name still linked with the Villa hotseat, although the club have announced that he is not on their radar.

Despite this, Hughes remains 2/1 to be the next Aston Villa manager, which is the same price as former England boss Steve McClaren.

The big recent mover in this market has been Owen Coyle, who has been backed in from 25/1 over the weekend to his current price of 7/2.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.