McClaren heads for Germany as Wolfsburg win race to sign him

Steve McClaren yesterday called time on "two fantastic years" in the Netherlands to join the German club Wolfsburg.

The former England manager has rebuilt his reputation at FC Twente, leading the previously unheralded club to their first Eredivisie title in the season that has just finished. That achievement caught the eye of several clubs around Europe with Wolfsburg winning the chase for the 49-year-old's signature.

McClaren signed a two-year deal at the Volkswagen Arena which starts on 1 July but admitted he was leaving the Netherlands with a heavy heart. "I had two fantastic years at Twente," he said. "The staff were fantastic and the players gave me everything. I leave with great memories and sadness in my heart. But I continue to the next challenge and hope to return one day to a country which has been so good to me."

McClaren admitted his family had been a major factor in his decision to move after confirming they will now relocate from England to Lower Saxony.

"I had promised my wife and children that I would not be away from them for more than two years," he said. "We will all live together in Germany." McClaren's failure to lead England to the finals of Euro 2008 is well documented but he made an impression on the Twente players. Full-back Dwight Tiendalli said: "McClaren was a father figure. Sometimes he was stern but he was also fun. He is a perfect coach."

Defender Peter Wisgerhof added: "For Twente and for myself I find it very sad. It's weird that we will possibly never see each other again."

McClaren will become the first Englishman to take charge of a Bundesliga club and takes over a Wolfsburg side which finished eighth after winning the title in 2009.

McClaren launched his managerial career at Middlesbrough in 2001 after serving as assistant to Jim Smith at Derby and then Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United, where he was part of the set-up which claimed an unprecedented treble, including the Champions League, in 1999.

In five years on Teesside he brought the club their first major trophy, the 2004 Carling Cup, their highest Premier League finish – seventh – and taken them to the Uefa Cup final. A 4-0 defeat by Seville in Eindhoven in that final proved to be his last game in charge as the Football Association appointed him as Sven-Goran Eriksson's successor as England manager in August 2006.

News
Alan Bennett has criticised the “repellent” reality shows which dominate our screens
tvBut he does like Stewart Lee
Life and Style
The Google Doodle celebrating the start of the first day of autumn, 2014.
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
Sport
David Moyes and Louis van Gaal
football
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Life and Style
Vote with your wallet: the app can help shoppers feel more informed about items on sale
lifeNew app reveals political leanings of food companies
News
Former Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin, left, with her daughter, Bristol
newsShe's 'proud' of eldest daughter, who 'punched host in the face'
Sport
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
rugby
Arts and Entertainment
Salmond told a Scottish television chat show in 2001that he would also sit in front of a mirror and say things like,
tvCelebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Life and Style
Carol O'Brien, whose son Rob suffered many years of depression
healthOne mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of Dark Side of the Moon
musicCan 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition? See for yourself
Life and Style
food + drink
News
Rob Merrick's Lobby Journalists were playing Ed Balls' Labour Party MPs. The match is an annual event which takes place ahead of the opening of the party conference
newsRob Merrick insistes 'Ed will be hurting much more than me'
News
A cabin crew member photographed the devastation after one flight
news
Voices
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits