x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 January 2018

European vision for Sanchez Flores

Former Al Ahli coach's services also attracting interest from Spanish Primera club and Turkish giants.

Quique Sanchez Flores has had extensive managerial experience in native Spain. Pawan Singh / The National
Quique Sanchez Flores has had extensive managerial experience in native Spain. Pawan Singh / The National

Al Ain’s hopes of appointing Quique Sanchez Flores as manager hinge on whether he elects to return to European football.

The Spaniard, who has previously managed in the Primera Liga with Getafe, Valencia and Atletico Madrid, and in Portugal with Benfica, has emerged as a strong candidate for the vacant post at Galatasaray, the prominent Turkish club.

It is believed Sanchez Flores has already held preliminary discussions with Galatasaray to succeed Fatih Terim, who was dismissed on Tuesday. Valencia have also been linked with the former Al Ahli coach.

Should Sanchez Flores choose to continue his career in Europe, it will represent a significant blow to Al Ain.

The UAE champions were confident of finalising a deal sometime this week, however there were still issues to be resolved regarding specific terms of the contract.

Sanchez Flores is therefore keeping his options open, prompting Al Ain to again consider other possibilities to replace Jorge Fossati.

The Uruguayan was released from his short-term contract on September 13, only 49 days after he was installed as Cosmin Olaroiu’s successor.

Al Ain insist they are under no pressure to act swiftly, as the Arabian Gulf League takes a 22-day break after its third round of fixtures this week. Al Ain travel to the Western Region for a clash with Al Dhafra, for which Ahmed Abdullah, the caretaker coach, will once more oversee first-team matters.

Al Ain anticipate they will have a permanent manager in place by the time their league programme resumes with the match against Dubai club on October 19.

Other names recently connected to the Garden City club include Eric Gerets, the Belgian currently in charge of Lekhwiya in the Qatari Stars League, and Abel Braga, the former Al Jazira coach. However, Al Ain have distanced themselves from a move for the Brazilian.

jmcauley@thenational.ae