x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Sven-Goran Eriksson to join UAE Pro League side Al Nasr

The former England, Lazio and Manchester City manager turned down a role at German club 1860 Munich and will link up with old friend Walter Zenga in Dubai.

Sven Goran Eriksson will be unveiled by Al Nasr at a news conference tomorrow. Issouf Sanogo / AFP Photo
Sven Goran Eriksson will be unveiled by Al Nasr at a news conference tomorrow. Issouf Sanogo / AFP Photo

DUBAI // Al Nasr will tomorrow introduce Sven-Goran Eriksson, the former England manager, as the club's new consultant.

The Swede held talks with the Dubai club during a recent visit to the emirate and was expected to be confirmed as technical director sometime this month, although last week 1860 Munich, a side in Germany's second division, announced Eriksson had instead agreed to join their coaching staff.

However, it emerged on Friday that the 64 year old had reneged on his promise to move to the Allianz Arena, paving the way for Nasr to secure his services.

The details of his contract with the Al Maktoum Stadium side remain unclear, yet Eriksson will work closely Walter Zenga, the current coach, and his role is believed to include overseeing different aspects of the running of the football club.

When The National approached Nasr last week, a senior board member revealed discussions were already at an advanced stage.

"Both the club and Eriksson have talked seriously about bringing him as a consultant at the club," said Ahmed Khouri, vice president of Al Nasr Sports Club and Football Company. "There are still negotiations going on; it has not yet been finalised.

"I'd expect within the next week we'll announce whether he's coming to the club officially or whether we're bringing someone else in," Khouri added. "But so far nothing has been concluded, although I repeat: there are serious talks between him and Al Nasr club."

Zenga and Eriksson should have little problem in forging a prosperous working relationship, having worked together in the past. The former Italian goalkeeper played under the experienced coach at Sampdoria, the Serie A side, for two years from 1994.

Eriksson has since managed, with varying degrees of success, Lazio, Manchester City and Leicester City, and led the national teams of England, Mexico and Ivory Coast. He has experience of working as a technical director, too, with Notts County, an English League Two team, in 2009, before most recently performing a similar role at BEC Tero Sasana, the two-time Thai champions.

Nasr currently sit fifth in the Pro League, 12 points off leaders Al Ain. Zenga, though, appears receptive to the appointment of Eriksson, telling The National earlier this month: "I met with Sven three or four days ago. He was my coach at Sampdoria and, like I always say, anything that improves the club I will always support."

jmcauley@thenational.ae

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