Bonamigo breaks Al Shabab deal to take over at Al Jazira
DUBAI // Paulo Bonamigo is set to be named as the new coach of Al Jazira after he thrashed out a deal with Al Shabab executives to terminate the new contract he only signed this week.
Bonamigo met the Shabab management on Thursday to tell them of his wish to leave the club and accept an offer from Al Jazira, the Asian Champions League quarter-finalists and President's Cup winners who decided not to renew the contract of Caio Junior.
Bonamigo, who took over as Shabab coach in December 2009, told the management he needed a new challenge after leading the team for two-and-a-half years, culminating in a third-place finish last season. He has agreed to pay a penalty clause of three months' salary to secure his release.
A club spokesman confirmed the news and said: "We would have liked Mr Bonamigo to continue his good work at the club, but we can understand his temptations. We have the penalty clause in the contract and if he is willing to pay that, we cannot stop him."
Sources close to Bonamigo claim he had been negotiating with Jazira for some time, explaining his reluctance to sign a long-term deal with Shabab.
He announced on Monday he had signed a one-year extension and Saeed Al Merri, the club chief executive, said: "Bonamigo is what [Sir] Alex Ferguson is to Manchester United."
Bonamigo was persuaded by his agent to renege on the deal with Shabab and take up the one-year offer with Jazira, who hired Caio Junior to replace the dismissed Franky Vercauteren last season. An official announcement is expected to be made after the formation of the new board of directors at Jazira. Al Jazira have to form a new board because Mohammed Thani Al Romaithi, their vice chairman, was named FA vice president.
A Jazira official refused to confirm the deal with Bonamigo, but said: "The situation will be clear in two days."
According to sources, Shabab are negotiating with their former coach Marcos Paqueta to replace Bonamigo.
The Brazilian, who worked with Shabab in 1988/89, is currently managing the Libya national team.
Paqueta has experience working in this region and he led the Saudi Arabia team at the 2006 World Cup. He also guide the Brazil Under 17 and U20 teams to World Cup wins in 2003. He has also coached at clubs in Saudi Arabia and Qatar.