Jean Fernandez will take over as Montpellier Hérault SC coach next season after René Girard's departure on 1 July.
The 59-year-old Girard, who took Montpellier to their first French Ligue 1 title last season and led them in their UEFA Champions League debut campaign, is leaving by mutual consent after four years at the helm. The southern side are currently eighth in the table. Fernandez, 58, has signed a two-year contract to coach the 13th team of his 28-year managerial career.
A club statement read: "His profile as coach and teacher, his great knowledge of football in France and the way he built teams in the past are elements which convinced Louis and Laurent Nicollin [the club's directors] to hand him the reins. After the title win in 2012, a new cycle will start from June."
Fernandez was most recently in charge of AS Nancy-Lorraine, resigning in January. Among his previous sides are Olympique de Marseille, where he uncovered Franck Ribéry, and AS Cannes, giving Zinédine Zidane his top-flight bow.
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