Brendan Rodgers is ‘very proud’ of his time at Watford despite jumping ship to join Championship rivals Reading after barely six months at Vicarage Road.
Rodgers, 36, lives in Reading and spent nine years with the club as academy manager before being headhunted by Jose Mourinho in 2004 for Chelsea, where he worked his way up to reserve team boss.
His short stay with Watford was a success as he led them away from danger in the Championship and the Northern Irishman returns to the Madejski Stadium as replacement for Steve Coppell.
Rodgers said: "I’m very proud of my work at Watford in what has been a short period.
"My decision to come to Watford in November has proved to be the right one. It was a difficult period in the club’s history, but we became one club after all the turmoil and for that I thank the supporters.
"We are now on different journeys, but I wish the club every success and I’m proud to be forever connected in the history of a great club."
Watford chairman Jimmy Russo rejected an initial approach from the Royals last Friday, but after Rodgers voiced an interest in moving west, the chairman admitted defeat and concentrated on negotiating an acceptable fee.
Russo said: "I had spoken to Brendan only last week and he had assured me that he was 100% committed to Watford.
"Once Brendan confirmed his desire to discuss the opportunity and Reading had met a contractual compensation figure, we were powerless to prevent him doing so."