Gerard Houllier admits he found it impossible to turn down the chance to return to the Barclays Premier League as Aston Villa's new manager.
Houllier has resigned as technical director of the French Football Federation [FFF] to take charge of the midlands club in succession to Martin O'Neill.
The 63-year-old is expected to be unveiled to the media at a press conference in the next 24 hours.
He said: "I am very happy and proud to join this great and historic club.
"It was a very difficult decision for me to leave the FFF. But I could not turn down the opportunity to manage a club whose approach, both on and off the pitch, I have long admired.
"Aston Villa is one of England's biggest clubs and has an amazing set of fans. This is a tremendous challenge and one I am very much looking forward to taking on."