Manchester United number two Carlos Queiroz has been appointed the new head coach of Real Madrid, replacing the sacked Vicente Del Bosque.
The 53-year-old has agreed a two-year contract, and will link up with former United midfielder David Beckham, who recently completed a £25million switch to the Bernabeu.
Once it had emerged that the former Sporting Lisbon, Portugal and South Africa coach had been earmarked for the hot seat, his Old Trafford employers resigned themselves to losing him.
Queiroz, who will be presented to the media later on Wednesday evening, had made his interest in the job clear by admitting that it was a "once in a lifetime" opportunity.
United confirmed Queirozs departure on the clubs official website: "Manchester United have agreed to release Carlos from his contract so that he can join Real Madrid.
"We thank Carlos for his contribution to Manchester United's success last season and wish him well in his new job. A replacement for Carlos will be sought in due course."
Although Mike Phelan is expected to step into the breach, Sir Alex Ferguson has already indicated that he wont be in a hurry to replace the Portuguese, who arrived at the club at the start of last season.
"This is a wonderful opportunity for Carlos, too big a chance to turn down," the Scot told the Daily Mail. "But we won't be in a rush to appoint a new coach. I've been very satisfied with the job that Mike Phelan has been doing.