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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 15 November 2018

Marcel Keizer set to be named new Sporting manager after Lisbon club agree compensation package with Al Jazira

The Dutchman, 49, is understood to have agreed in principle a deal with the 18-time Portuguese champions

Marcel Keizer, right, joined Al Jazira in the summer but looks destined to join Portuguese club Sporting of Lisbon after the two clubs agreed a compensatin package for the Dutchman. Courtesy Al Jazira
Marcel Keizer, right, joined Al Jazira in the summer but looks destined to join Portuguese club Sporting of Lisbon after the two clubs agreed a compensatin package for the Dutchman. Courtesy Al Jazira

Marcel Keizer is expected to travel to Portugal on Saturday to become the new manager of Sporting Lisbon, ending his surprisingly brief stint with Al Jazira.

The Dutchman, 49, is understood to have agreed in principle a deal with the 18-time Portuguese champions, only five months after his appointment at the Abu Dhabi club.

Jazira had been determined to keep hold of Keizer, who has impressed since his arrival in June, although the former Ajax manager made clear he wanted to accept the opportunity to work at a prominent European club.

Installed this summer as successor to Henk ten Cate, his popular compatriot, Keizer had signed a two-year contract with the capital side. It is understood Sporting paid the Arabian Gulf League club US$600,000 (Dh2.2 million) in compensation.

A member of Jazira's board of directors, Mohammed Al Suwai, took to Twitter to thank Keizer for his work, adding that the club had "tried to keep him" but his desire to return to Europe proved too big a pull for the Dutchman.

Sporting have been without a manager since dismissing Jose Peseiro, the former Al Wahda and Sharjah head coach, last week. At present, they sit third in this season’s Primeira Liga after nine matches.

Keizer had initially settled well at Jazira, impressing the club management as the 2016/17 UAE champions began the season brightly. Monday's 2-0 victory against Al Wasl ensured Jazira remain undefeated in the league and kept them in second place, two points off Sharjah following nine rounds. Keizer took training as usual on Wednesday night.

Sporting have been intent on installing a Dutch manager and are said to have turned to Keizer after attempts to recruit Peter Bosz, most recently of Borussia Dortmund, and Frank de Boer, who was sacked last year by Crystal Palace.

At Ajax, Keizer was promoted internally to first-team manager in June 2017, but dismissed six months later when the club failed to secure European football for the first time in 25 years. Before that he had spells in charge of lower league clubs in the Netherland, including FC Emmen and Cambuur, with whom he served as technical director.

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