CHERRIES have hired Andoni Iraola as their new head coach.

The Spaniard, formerly of Rayo Vallecano, has penned a two-year contract, becoming the first overseas boss in the club's history.

Born in the Basque Country, Iraola is a former Spain international, who retired from playing in 2016.

He spent most of his career at Athletic Bilbao.

The 40-year-old had spells managing AEK Larnaca in Cyprus and Mirandes, before a three-year stay at Vallecano.

He replaces Gary O'Neil, who was sacked earlier today.

Leeds United were keen to hire Iraola last season, but he stayed at Vallecano, where his country recently expired, after an 11th-placed finish in La Liga.

"We're so excited to welcome Andoni to the club," said Cherries chairman Bill Foley.

"With his contract in Spain coming to an end this summer we wanted to act quickly.

"He was highly sought after by other clubs across the continent, and his style of play has been an important factor in making this decision.

"His achievements in Spain have certainly been very impressive, and we're confident that he is the right man to lead our next chapter.

"We have identified a number of targets in the transfer market, which along with our January additions will supplement our strong playing squad to give Andoni the best chance to consolidate our Premier League status and keep progressing."