Seven-times Serie A winner and former Italy coach Giovanni Trapattoni will take charge of the Republic of Ireland's bid to reach the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ after confirming he had agreed to succeed Steve Staunton.
Trapattoni's appointment ends a 113-day search for a successor to Staunton, who left the post in October after Ireland failed to qualify for the finals of UEFA EURO 2008.
Trapattoni, currently in charge of Austrian champions Red Bull Salzburg, confirmed he would leave the club at the end of the season and take over as Ireland boss at the start of June.
"Leaving the title as a farewell present to my Bulls is now my No1 aim," the 68-year-old said.
Salzburg confirmed Trapattoni's departure in a statement on its website.
It said: "Giovanni Trapattoni has made a decision on his future just before the 2007/08 Bundesliga resumes after the winter break: The 'Mister' is to take on the job of Irish national team manager after the end of the season - on a two-year contract."
Details of Trapattoni's financial package were agreed at a meeting between the Italian and a Football Association of Ireland (FAI) delegation led by chief executive John Delaney in Milan on Tuesday evening.
The ten-member board of the FAI was due to meet later on Wednesday when the appointment was to be officially ratified.
The former Juventus, AC Milan and Inter Milan coach, who has won league titles in four countries (Austria, Germany and Portugal as well as his native Italy) is expected to bring his backroom staff of Claudio Gentile and Fausto Rossi with him into the post.
Liam Brady, who won two Serie A titles under Trapattoni at Juventus and is now in charge of Arsenal's youth development, is also expected to have a role, although its precise nature is unclear.
Brady's understanding of the Irish sports mentality, the respect he commands in the Irish game, and the ability to speak Italian are considered important given Trapattoni's limited English.
After a search led by Ireland caretaker manager Don Givens which included at least ten candidates including Gerard Houllier and Graeme Souness, Trapattoni emerged as a late challenger to the former England and Australia coach Terry Venables.
The Londoner had been the favourite for the position since Staunton was sacked and, at the weekend, broke his silence to insist he wanted the job.
He has however lost out to Trappattoni - who will now seek to lead Ireland to their first major finals since Korea/Japan 2002.