Sami Hyypia appears to have set his sights on managing in the Premier League in the near future after being named Brighton & Hove Albion manager.
Independent journalist Ian Herbert broke news of the move earlier today, taking to his twitter account to tweet the message:
“Sami Hyypia heading back to England. He's accepted the #Brighton manager job and is now looking for an assistant to work with him there #lfc”
The former Liverpool defender has been without a job since his dismissal from Bayer Leverkusen earlier this season following a difficult run of results with the Bundesliga club.
But Hyypia nevertheless impressed during his two-year spell in charge of the team he finished his playing career with, helping them achieve Champions League qualification during his time in charge and finishing with a win percentage of 54.35%.
The Finn replaces Oscar Garcia, who left the Seagulls after suffering a 6-2 aggregate defeat to Derby County in the play-offs – a result that condemned the club to another season in the second-tier.
Hyypia will be hoping for a different outcome next season, with Brighton already being talked of as one of the favourites for promotion to the Premier League, having reached the play-offs in each of their previous two campaigns in the Championship.
Much could depend on the impact of the new coach, who struggled at Leverkusen after Sacha Lewandowski – the man who co-managed the Bundesliga side in the initial stages of Hyypia’s time at the helm – returned to his role as a youth coach.
One thing that could be spurring the retired defender on, however, is the chance to make a return to the Premier League and face-off against Liverpool.
The 40-year-old was part of the Reds team that won the Champions League in 2005 and enjoyed a memorable send-off upon leaving the club in 2009.
The idea of returning to Anfield as a manager may just be enough to spur him on to great things at Brighton.