(CNN) -- Former Ajax and Tottenham manager Martin Jol has taken over as coach at English Premier League club Fulham.
The London-based club, who reached the final of UEFA's Europa League in 2009 under Roy Hodgson, moved quickly to replace Mark Hughes, who left the club earlier this month.
Jol was approached to take charge when Hodgson left for Liverpool, but opted to stay with Dutch giants Ajax. He has signed a two-year contract with an option to extend by another year.
He told the club's official web site: "I am very happy to join Fulham, a wonderful traditional club. It is a club with good, solid foundations and a great fan base.
"I could have gone to other countries but I was waiting for the opportunity to come back to England."
Fulham qualified for next season's Europa League thanks to their standing in UEFA's Fair Play table, and start their qualifying campaign for the tournament on June 30.
Despite coming so soon after the end of the 2010-11 season Jol, who also had a spell with German club Hamburg, insists he is pleased to be in the competition.
"It would be ridiculous to say that I'm not happy with being in the Europa League," he added. "I think Fulham were the first and only club who had a lucrative income from the Europa League.
"Any other team, say in Germany for example, would say that you don't earn a lot of money from the Europa League because only the Champions League is profitable.
"Let's not forget though that can hinder you in the season, the last time Fulham were in the Europa League they were 12th in the table, but it is my hope that we can build a squad that is strong enough to compete in all of these competitions."
The club's chairman, Mohamed Al Fayed, said he was delighted to appoint Jol, the man who led Tottenham to fifth place in the 2005-06 season.
"He understands my vision for the club, and believes in what we are striving to achieve here," he said. "I know that he will dedicate himself to helping us move forward, and is with us for the long term, to help us build and progress."
Meanwhile, Portuguese club Benfica have issued a statement denying that Spanish giants Real Madrid have agreed a deal to sign Fabio Coentrao.
The defender has a release clause of $44 million and Spanish media reported Tuesday that Coentrao would be joining this week.
But Benfica released a statement on their web site that read: "Fabio Coentrao is a Benfica player. Unlike the news that came out in the media, fueled, as always, by 'sources' with no name and no face, there is no kind of agreement with Real Madrid.
"The player's release clause is €30 million ($44m) and the potential interested parties know that."