BERLIN, April 23 (Reuters) - Schalke 04 named Dutchman Fred Rutten on Wednesday as the Bundesliga club's coach for next season.
Rutten, 45, currently with Dutch club Twente Enschede, will succeed Mirko Slomka, who was sacked earlier this month after Schalke's Champions League quarter-final defeat by Barcelona and a 5-1 thrashing by league rivals Werder Bremen.
Schalke said Rutten had signed a two-year deal starting on July 1. Mike Bueskens and Youri Mulder will stay in charge of the team until the end of the season and then work under Rutten as his assistant coaches.
Schalke were Bundesliga runners-up last season and are lying in third place with five matches remaining.
Rutten has spent almost all his professional career at Twente having first signed with them as a player in 1979.
After rising through the club's coaching set-up, he spent four years as assistant coach under Guus Hiddink at PSV Eindhoven before returning to Twente in 2006.
'It is really very difficult for me to leave Twente,' Rutten told reporters at a news conference in Gelsenkirchen on Wednesday. 'But I believe I have left something behind that the team will be able to keep working on.
'I am very proud to get the chance to work in a big league with a very big team. Schalke suits me well and I am certain that we can make some steps forward together in the future.'