x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Italian manager Walter Zenga leaves Pro League side Al Nasr

Both parties agreed to the termination of the contract, according to Dubai club.

Walter Zenga, took over as coach of Al Nasr in January of 2011. This season's league finish of sixth was his worst in three seasons at the club. Pawan Singh / The National
Walter Zenga, took over as coach of Al Nasr in January of 2011. This season's league finish of sixth was his worst in three seasons at the club. Pawan Singh / The National

DUBAI // Al Nasr are searching for a new manager after parting company with Walter Zenga, their Italian coach.

The Dubai club claim both parties agreed to the termination of the contract, and that the board will take the requisite time to appoint his successor.

The club said in a statement released on Twitter that its technical committee had evaluated Zenga's performance this season and made the recomendation to end his contract.

Zenga has largely been a success since taking over at Al Maktoum Stadium in January 2011, guiding his side to third-place and runners-up finishes in the Pro League.

However, this season has seen Nasr struggle to replicate past prosperity, as they slipped to sixth in the table and failed to win any matches in the Asian Champions League, eventually finishing bottom of their group.

Zenga has cut an increasingly frustrated figure on the touchline, too, and in the past few weeks did not attend any of his club's pre-match media briefings. Massimo Pedrazzini, his assistant, has faced the press instead.

Speculation has surrounded the former Inter Milan goalkeeper's long-term future ever since the appointment in January of Sven-Goran Eriksson as technical adviser.

The Swede, regarded as one of the most experienced men in football, was originally brought into the club to oversee the technical development of the youth set-up and aid in the recruitment of players for the first team.

Zenga, 53, is expected to consider offers to return to Italy, although he is said to be happy in the UAE. His dismissal means, of the 14 clubs who contested the 2012/13 campaign, only five still employ the manager who began the season.

jmcauley@thenational.ae

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