x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Dan Petrescu unlikely to join Pro League side Al Nasr

Dubai football club not certain to pay Dh58 million required to release Romanian from his contract with Dynamo Moscow where he is manager.

Dan Petrescu is being persuaded to stay at Dynamo Moscow.
Dan Petrescu is being persuaded to stay at Dynamo Moscow.

DUBAI // Al Nasr's attempts to recruit Dan Petrescu as manager appear to have concluded after it emerged the Romanian is almost certain to remain at Dynamo Moscow.

The former Chelsea defender was said to represent the lead candidate to replace Walter Zenga at Al Maktoum Stadium, with a club source claiming earlier this week the deal was "90 per cent" complete.

It was understood the details of the agreement needed only refining, with Nasr confident Petrescu, 45, would accept their offer by Thursday at the latest.

However, he seems set to stay in the Russian capital despite a disappointing first season at the club, in which Dynamo finished seventh in the league and thus missed out on a Uefa Europa League place next campaign.

Petrescu met with Dynamo officials on Wednesday to discuss his situation, and the club informed their coach they expect him to honour the final two seasons of his three-year contract. Petrescu took up the role last August.

"He will continue with Dynamo, the club don't want to let him go," Nikolay Pirnau, Petrescu's representative, told The National. "They said they will improve the team, that he will stay and that they are not even willing to discuss him leaving.

"They are very happy with his work and they hope he can build a new strong team for the coming season."

Given Dynamo's reluctance to let Petrescu go, it is highly unlikely Nasr would match the €12 million (Dh58m) required to release him from his contract.

The failure to entice Petrescu means the Pro League side will now focus on enlisting who, they claim, is their only other option. Bernd Schuster, the German who led Real Madrid to the 2008 Primera Liga title, and Mano Menezes, the former Brazil national team manager, were both considered, yet the club stated neither was still in contention.

Whether that constitutes little more than a ruse to deflect attention remains to be seen. Whatever the reality, Nasr will hope to have a new man in place within the next 48 hours.

jmcauley@thenational.ae

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