x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Al Nasr's Zenga set to welcome mentor Eriksson in UAE

Should his appointment be confirmed, it is sure to prompt speculation about Zenga's future.

Sven-Goran Eriksson, former England manager, looks headed to the UAE. Rungroj Yongrit / EPA
Sven-Goran Eriksson, former England manager, looks headed to the UAE. Rungroj Yongrit / EPA

DUBAI // Walter Zenga, the Al Nasr coach, has suggested he would welcome Sven-Goran Eriksson to Al Maktoum Stadium as the former England manager appears set to be unveiled as the club's new technical director. The ubiquitous Swede has been in Dubai to discuss a potential deal with the Pro League club.

Zenga has known Eriksson for a number of years, having played under the Swede at Sampdoria, the Italian Serie A side, for two years from 1994. Eriksson has since enjoyed several high-profile appointments, including a hugely successful time in charge of Lazio, and five years with the England national team.

However, less prosperous spells followed at Manchester City, the Mexico and Ivory Coast national sides, and Leicester City, a club in England's second tier, before Eriksson was appointed as the technical director of Tero Sasana, the two-time Thai champions, in September. He also held a similar position at Notts County, an English League Two team, in 2009.

The next destination for Eriksson, 64, seems to be the UAE; this week he accompanied members of the Nasr board as a guest of honour at an awards ceremony.

Should his appointment be confirmed, it is sure to prompt speculation about Zenga's future, although the Italian has in the past two seasons at the club guided them to third and then second place in the league.

Nasr are fifth in the standings, but are only five points behind the second-placed Al Jazira.

"I met with Sven three or four days ago," Zenga told The National. "He was my coach at Sampdoria and, like I always say, anything that improves the club I will always support."

Eriksson has recently been linked with the vacant managerial position at the English Championship side Blackburn Rovers, but last week denied he was approached.

jmcauley@thenational.ae

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