x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Vercauteren could delay Jazira move to help Genk reach Champions League group stages

Dirk Dergraen, the Belgian club's chairman, is trying to persuade Franky Vercauteren to stay on and guide them through their qualifier with Maccabi Haifa.

Franky Vercauteren has returned to Belgium. The Racing Genk chairman Dirk Dergraen will attempt to persuade Vercauteren to stay on for their Champions League qualifying matches.
Franky Vercauteren has returned to Belgium. The Racing Genk chairman Dirk Dergraen will attempt to persuade Vercauteren to stay on for their Champions League qualifying matches.

Franky Vercauteren could delay his move to Al Jazira so he can help Racing Genk into the Champions League group stages later this month.

The Belgian told Racing Genk of his intention to move to Abu Dhabi when he returned to his homeland on Tuesday night, after spending 48 hours meeting Jazira officials in the capital.

Racing Genk still hold out some faint hope that they could convince the man who led them to their first title in nine years to stay, although last night it seemed his two-year deal with the professional league champions was a formality.

But Dirk Dergraen, the Belgian club's chairman who has worked closely with Vercauteren for the past two seasons, has personally asked him to stay on and help the team beat Maccabi Haifa, who they face over two legs in the final Champions League qualifier on August 17 and 23.

Vercauterern remained tight-lipped when speaking to the media in Belgium after he oversaw a training session.

"The first thing I must do is deal with Genk," he said. "I do not see why I should take training with the players."

ncameron@thenationl.ae