Stoke City have appointed former Aston Villa and Norwich City boss Paul Lambert as their new manager in time for the visit of Huddersfield Town this weekend.
The Potters were believed to have failed to secure the services of their top three managerial targets, with Martin O'Neill, Quique Sanchez Flores and Gary Rowett all turning down approaches from Stoke, according the Press Association Sport.
O'Neill removed himself from the running to be the Potters' new chief, with Flores and Rowett choosing to stick with Espanyol and Derby County respectively.
But now chairman Peter Coates has made his appointment, with Lambert taking charge of the top-flight club six months after his departure from Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Stoke - who face Manchester United in the Premier League tonight - have been without a manager since Mark Hughes was sacked after the shock FA Cup third-round exit to Coventry City on January 6.
Coach Eddie Niedzwiecki has been in temporary charge since the former Wales boss' departure, with the ex-Chelsea keeper set to name the Stoke line up against Jose Mourinho's men tonight.
Lambert - who has signed on a two-and-a-half year deal - will watch from the stands at Old Trafford before officially taking charge tomorrow.