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.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Life and Style
Balmain's autumn/winter 2014 campaign, shot by Mario Sorrenti and featuring Binx Walton, Cara Delevingne, Jourdan Dunn, Ysaunny Brito, Issa Lish and Kayla Scott
fashionHow Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride