x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Arabian Gulf League: Jorge Fossati confirmed as new Al Ain coach

Champions announce replacement for Cosmin Olaroiu, reports John McAuley.

Jorge Fossati.
Jorge Fossati.

Jorge Fossati was last night confirmed as the new Al Ain manager, ending the UAE champions' search for a successor to Cosmin Olaroiu.

The Uruguayan had been approached earlier this month about the vacant position, but negotiations drew to a standstill because the Garden City club chose instead to shift their attention to Abel Braga, who leads Brazil's Fluminense club.

However, Al Ain officials decided a deal to free Braga from his current contract would be too protracted, given the complications in settling a compensation package with his Brazilian employers. Braga had previously managed Al Jazira and in 2011 led the Abu Dhabi club to an unprecedented league and cup double.

Fossati, too, has substantial experience of football in the Arabian Gulf, having managed with considerable success in Qatar with Al Sadd and then in Saudi Arabia with Al Shabab. In December 2010, he returned to Sadd and within 11 months had guided the Doha-based side to the Asian Champions League crown.

It is this impressive record with clubs in the region that has convinced Al Ain to appoint Fossati, who will be expected to continue the club's recent prosperity under Olaroiu. Al Ain are successive UAE league champions, although they disappointed on last season's return to the Asian Champions League.

The National has learned Fossati, 60, should arrive in the UAE on Friday to finalise a deal, with the former Uruguayan national team coach overseeing training from early next week.

On Wednesday, the Al Ain team manager, Mohammed Obaid Hammad, revealed the club were evaluating three candidates for the role. He also conceded the difficulty in finding a replacement to Olaroiu was having a detrimental effect on the team's preparations for the 2013/14 Arabian Gulf League campaign.

jmcauley@thenational.ae

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