Neil Lennon has been appointed as the new manager of Rapid Bucharest.

The former Celtic manager has agreed a two-year contract at the Romanian club as he returns to management after 18 months out of the game.

Lennon made the sensational switch to Romania despite having previously been linked with vacant posts at Aberdeen and Hibernian.

Lennon said of the move to Romania: "In the beginning, I spoke with Mr. Șucu and Daniel Sandu, I had extensive discussions with them. Then we met again a few weeks ago and I was very impressed with the project they presented to me.

"I was very impressed by Mr. Șucu, he is a very strong, very intelligent man, a man with principles. It was impressive to me.

"Then, talking to Daniel as well, it was a simple decision for me. I am very happy to be here, I know that Rapid is a very important name in the history of Romanian football. It's an opportunity for me.

"I hope to create a strong connection between myself and the fans, but that comes with getting positive results and performing. It is my responsibility. I know they are very passionate supporters who love the club.

"They are similar to Celtic fans. I want us to perform, that's my main goal. I hope to meet the supporters soon and I will do everything possible to perform with Rapid"

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Club chief Dan Sucu said: "I am pleased that Mr. Neil Lennon, a legend in Great Britain, both as a player and as a coach, is joining our project. Considering his career, he is the most titled foreign specialist who came to train in Romania.

"He comes from a soccer culture, the Anglo-Saxon one, based on seriousness, work, success. A culture where decisions, once made, are no longer commented on or negotiated, but simply implemented.

"A coach with exceptional results, experienced but still young, energetic, very authoritative, a true leader. And, on top of everything, a coach who can make balanced decisions without coming with a baggage of dislikes or subjective preferences regarding the team.

"I am convinced that we will no longer have players who demonstrate their rapidity at 3 in the morning from the disco or on the ski slopes, or who show up to the team with extra pounds than the optimal weight. I am also convinced that, next season, the physical preparation, commitment and determination of our team will be at a significantly increased level compared to the season just ended.

"We would have liked to have the financial power to offer him a salary commensurate with the one that appeared in the press, but, at the moment, we are not at that level. We want to get there in the coming years and we can only do it on the basis of very good sporting performances.

"Mr. Lennon will be helped in the new season by a stronger RAPID club! Based on the evaluations made together with Mr. Mircea Lucescu, to whom I especially thank, we will continue investing in infrastructure, we will completely reform the medical area (recovery, recovery, nutrition) and, naturally, we will continue investing in valuable players with a mentality of winners.

"There are many things that will be changed for the better, but I prefer to let the colleagues responsible for their implementation talk about them!”