Fulham has hired Martin Jol to replace Mark Hughes as manager of the English Premier League club.

The 55-year-old Dutchman has agreed to an initial two-year contract with the west London side, with the option for a further year's extension.

Hughes resigned as Fulham manager last week after one season in charge.

Since being ditched by Tottenham in 2007, Jol has coached Hamburg and Ajax.

Jol was linked with the Fulham role last year but Ajax refused to release him from his post as head coach at the Amsterdam ArenA.

He has been out of work since quitting the Dutch club last December and has now spoken of his excitement at returning to the Barclays Premier League.

"I am very happy to join Fulham Football Club, a wonderful traditional club,'' he told www.fulhamfc.com.

"It is a club with good, solid foundations and a great fan base.

I am looking forward to being part of the Fulham family and thank the chairman for the trust he's shown in me.''

Hughes stepped down from his role last week after guiding the club to an eighth-place finish in the Premier League and earning them a return to Europe via the Fair Play League.

He also built on a reputation initially forged at Blackburn and then Manchester City, where many felt he was unlucky to lose his job, but departed insisting he had had no contact with any other club.

The Welshman's decision left the Cottagers searching for a new manager for the second consecutive summer, after losing Roy Hodgson to Liverpool last year.

Jol will have little time to get his feet under the table, with the Fulham players due to report back for pre-season training on June 23 and facing a Europa League qualifier in less than four weeks' time.

A club statement confirmed: "Martin joins Fulham on an initial two-year contract with the club having an option to extend for a further year.

"He will arrive at our Motspur Park training ground in advance of the players' return to training later this month.''

Jol moved to Spurs in summer 2004, initially as an assistant to Jacques Santini, after having started his coaching career with stints at Roda JC and RKC Waalwijk in his homeland.

The Dutchman was handed the top job at White Hart Lane when the Frenchman left the following November and won many admirers for the attractive football played under him.

Following his dismissal in October 2007 - he was unceremoniously dumped following the UEFA Cup defeat to Getafe - he spent the 2008/09 campaign at Hamburg before succeeding Marco van Basten as Ajax coach in May 2009.

He helped the Amsterdammers to KNVB Beker glory in 2010 before stepping down last December with the club in fourth place in the Eredivisie standings in what turned out to be a title-winning campaign.