Battersea, Bernabeu and back: Paul Clement takes Derby job
The Rams appoint former Real Madrid and Chelsea youth coach in first full managerial role
Derby County have appointed PE teacher turned Real Madrid coach Paul Clement to his first managerial role following the sacking of ex-England manager Steve McClaren.
The Championship club narrowly missed out on the play-offs this season and will hope Clement's impressive coaching CV will translate to success in the top job at the first time of asking.
Clement, 43, is a former PE teacher from Sutton, whose meteoric rise from Battersea Park to Real Madrid is the stuff of footballing legend.
He obtained his coaching badges in 1999 and worked as a teacher while coaching youngsters at Chelsea, before working with Fulham and the Republic of Ireland.
He rejoined Chelsea as a junior coach under Jose Mourinho in 2007, and benefited from the managerial chaos at Stamford Bridge after the Special One's departure to rise swiftly through the ranks. He developed a strong bond with one of Mourinho's successors, Carlo Ancelotti, and followed him to Paris Saint-Germain and then Real Madrid. But following the Italian's departure from the Spanish capital, it was perhaps inevitable that Clement would also move on from the Bernabeu.
According to the Daily Mail, Clement has agreed a £3m, three-year deal at the iPro Stadium and will be expected to get Derby back into the Premier League for the first time since 2008 – when they set an unwanted record as they were relegated with just 11 points from 38 games.
Clement had "been linked with the Sunderland manager's position following the departure of Dick Advocaat" so the appointment is something of a coup for the Championship team, says The Guardian.
Derby appeared to be on course to promotion under McClaren, and led the Championship in March. But dismal form in April and May meant the Rams missed out of on the play-offs on the last day of the season, following a disappointing 3-0 defeat to Reading.
Chief executive Sam Rush spoke of his pleasure in the announcement: "Paul Clement is one of the most in-demand coaches in world football and I am delighted that he has agreed to join Derby County as our new head coach. He is hugely respected, has exceptional relationships throughout football and tremendous coaching experience at some of the very best clubs in Europe."