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Fiorentina name ex-Basel man Paulo Sousa as new manager


Hungarian FC Videoton’s coach Portuguese Paulo Sousa waits for the kick off time against Swiss FC Basel 1893 during the UEFA Europa League Group G football match Videoton vs Basel in Szekesfehervar, on October 25, 2012. AFP PHOTO / ATTILA KISBENEDEK (Photo credit should read ATTILA KISBENEDEK/AFP/Getty Images)

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Serie A club Fiorentina have sealed the deal with managerial candidate Paulo Sousa, the former Juventus midfielder returning to the country where he enjoyed great triumph as a player.

Fiorentina, finishing at fourth place with 64 points in the 2014-15 league standings, sacked its prior boss, Vincenzo Montella, earlier this month due to a “perceived lack of commitment to the club”, said the Associated Press.

After finishing his playing career at Espanyol in 2002, Sousa first managed the Portugal U-16’s before getting the call from England’s Queens Park Rangers, but was sacked after 26 games because he revealed sensitive transfer information.

[RELATED: Garry Monk to sign extension at Swansea City]

He then took over for Roberto Martinez at Swansea City in the summer of 2009, and during the Portugal international’s tenure there, he ended up leading the squad to its best league finish in 27 years.

But Sousa left Swansea by mutual consent with the board a year later and was fired following only three months in charge at Leicester City.

Sousa turned the corner and spearheaded Israeli side Maccabi Tel Aviv to a league title for the 2013-2014 season.

The 44-year-old was most recently at the forefront of Basel’s Super League crown and advancement to the Champions League Round of 16.

“Fiorentina is delighted to announce that an agreement has today been reached with Paulo Sousa for him to become the new first-team coach,” Fiorentina said on its official website. “Sousa will be in Florence tomorrow to complete the formalities.”