x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Maradona expected next week

The arrival of the new Al Wasl manager in expected next week.

DUBAI // Diego Maradona has delayed his arrival in the UAE and is now expected to land next week to start his two-year tenure as the head coach at Al Wasl.

Maradona, who is still in Argentina, was initially expected to fly in tomorrow, but now will not be coming before Thursday.

"He could be here between August 4 to 6," a club spokesman said. "However, we don't have a confirmed arrival date. But he is certainly not going to be here this weekend."

The club said they may not announce the new coach's arrival until he is already in the UAE.

"The board of directors have been in regular contact with Maradona and we now might not announce the date until he actually gets here," the spokesman said.

The team have been training since July 24 under Maradona's Emirati assistant, Ali Hassan.

"Training has been going on as scheduled," the spokesman said. "The squad have been working hard on the field and in the gym. They have been doing a lot of fitness work."

Juan Manuel Olivera, the Uruguayan striker, has been working out with the team for the past couple of days. Olivera arrived in Dubai earlier this week for a medical, which he has passed. A formal deal, however, has not been announced.

"There could be a couple of issues still under discussion," the spokesman said. "Once everything is sorted, we will make a formal announcement of the deal with Olivera."

The spokesman hinted that the deal to sign 29-year-old midfielder Mariano Donda from Godoy Cruz, was close to completion, and that the two South American arrivals had settled in well.

"Edson Puch and Juan Manuel Olivera have been getting on extremely well because they are old teammates from Universidad." he said. "They have gelled quickly with the rest of the squad," the spokesman said.