André Villas-Boas joins Shanghai SIPG

The former Chelsea and Tottenham boss has swapped Russia for China

André Villas-Boas has had a strange career path in football management, and he has added a new and intriguing chapter to it this week. 

He initially shot to success in Portugal with Académica and then Porto, but his time at Chelsea and later Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League didn't yield the type of results that he had hoped, in particular for Spurs where his side suffered some heavy defeats before he left "by mutual consent."

Since 2014, he was in charge of Zenit St. Petersburg, but rejected a contract renewal at the club after some high profile disagreements with the club's hierarchy over signings, and taking criticism from some of the team's former players and pundits over the style employed.

However, he had plenty of success, leading the team to a second place finish in his first season in charge, before going one better the following season and guiding them to the Russian Premier League title. He also claimed the Russian Cup as recenlty as May, before bringing an end to his time at the club, citing his desire to return home to Portugal to be with his family.  

However, he is now headed to China to take up the job as manager of Shangai SIPG, where he takes over from Sven Goran Eriksson.

The former England manager's time with Shanghai seemed to get off to a good start, but things took a turn after they were knocked out of the AFC Champions League by South Korea's Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors, who hammered them 5-0 in the second leg of their quarter-final tie.

The club moved quickly when the decision was made, taking to social media to thank Eriksson for his "great contribution to the team in the past two years," adding that "we sincerely hope everything goes well for Mr. Eriksson's future work and life."

The arrival of Villas-Boas was announced a few hours later, and continues the trend of big names heading to China as the country looks to grow the sport

Speaking to Newstalk, Chris Atkins, a player agent based in China, said that the interest in football is important not just for fans who love the game, but also economically for the country on a global scale. 

"It makes clever economic sense to branch out into sports, and football has the best global appeal - every country in the world has a big interest in football - and if China can develop its own league and host the World Cup, which is a stated ambition of the president, then there will be a lot of eyes on China's development."