Fulham's laborious managerial hunt has come to an end after Slavisa Jokanovic agreed to become head coach.

It is 49 days since the west Londoners sacked Kit Symons, having grown frustrated by their inconsistent Sky Bet Championship form.

The process to replace him has been fraught with challenges but, after Peter Grant and then Stuart Gray took temporary charge, the club have belatedly announced that they have agreed to bring Jokanovic from Maccabi Tel Aviv as head coach.

The news came minutes after the Israeli league leaders won 5-0 at home to Hapoel Kiryat Shmona and means the former Serbia international returns to English football after just six months away.

Jokanovic last season led Watford to automatic promotion to the Premier League, only to leave Vicarage Road after talks over a new deal collapsed.

Press Association Sport understands the 47-year-old has been on Fulham's shortlist to succeed Symons from the outset so, after a long and uncomfortable period without a manger, owner Shahid Khan was understandably pleased to make the appointment.

"I am extremely proud to announce that Slavisa Jokanovic will be joining Fulham as our First Team Head Coach," he said in a statement.

"We considered many quality candidates for what we considered to be one of the best positions in football, and I personally interviewed most of them.

"While the search was time-consuming and painstaking at times, I knew that when the process was complete that Fulham would have the best man possible for this opportunity and challenge.

"Slavisa's credentials and passion for the job rose to the top through every stage of this process, and we cannot wait to welcome him to Motspur Park and Craven Cottage to get things going in the right direction for the second half of the season."

Maccabi confirmed Fulham have paid 500,000 euros (£367,500) compensation for Jokanovic, ending a frustrating period without a manager.

The west London club initially agreed terms with Steve Clarke, only for the then-Reading manager to pull out.

Birmingham manager Gary Rowett and Rangers boss Mark Warburton were others sounded out, before former Sheffield Wednesday boss Gray was named senior coach and placed in temporary charge.

Fulham have drawn two and lost two under Gray, including the 2-0 loss at Derby on Boxing Day, and chief football officer Mike Rigg has now belatedly succeeded in bringing in Jokanovic.

The former Chelsea midfielder took on his former club in the Champions League group stage this season and thanked Maccabi for an enjoyable, if short, time at the helm.

"I apologise to the Maccabi supporters and I see that they are the most loyal fans, one of the most amazing I've seen in my football career," Jokanovic told the Israeli club's website.

"This made the games I played here at Bloomfield and on Europe great and I enjoyed the city of Tel Aviv.

"I want to thank all of the people here in Israel, including the press and friends that I've made during my time.

"There's a very important job in London coming up with Fulham and I am looking for stability and I hope to be there a very long time."

The Cottagers have failed to win any of their seven matches since Symons' exit and host fellow strugglers Rotherham on Tuesday.