Frenchman Le Guen likely to coach Al Wahda

Frenchman Le Guen likely to coach Al Wahda

The highly-rated Frenchman is set to take over from Saudi Arabia’s Sami Al Jaber, whose six-month contract was not renewed.



By James Jose - Senior Reporter

Published: Thu 11 Jun 2015, 1:02 PM

Last updated: Wed 8 Jul 2015, 3:13 PM

Abu Dhabi — Paul Le Guen is likely to be the new coach of Al Wahda, sources said on Wednesday.

The highly-rated Frenchman is set to take over from Saudi Arabia’s Sami Al Jaber, whose six-month contract was not renewed. The 51-year-old is currently the coach of the Oman national team and is in the southern city of Bengaluru, India, for a World Cup qualifying fixture.

The club did not confirm or deny the news but they are expected to make an official announcement either on Sunday or Monday. “There is still no news on the new coach. The club management met with the players yesterday (Tuesday). The club will make an announcement on the new coach maybe on Sunday or Monday,” Al Wahda club spokesman Ayman Khalil told the Khaleej Times on Wednesday.

Christian Gross, the former Tottenham Hotspur manager, who is currently the coach of Saudi Arabian side Al Ahli, was also linked to the Al Wahda job.

But it is learnt that the negotiations stalled as Gross still had a year left on his contract.

Le Guen comes with rich experience, having coached French clubs Rennes and Lyon, Scottish club Rangers and Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint Germain, with whom he also had a long and illustrious playing career as a defender. His three seasons at Lyon was a trophy-laden one with a hat-trick of titles in 2002-03, 2003-04 and 2004-05. He also won them the Trophee des Champions in 2002, 2003 and 2004. With Paris Saint-Germain, he won the Coupe de la Ligue in 2008.

Le Guen, capped 17 times for France between 1993 and 1995, also guided Cameroon to qualification for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. The Frenchman took over as the Oman coach in 2011 and led them to qualification for the 2015 AFC Asian Cup in Australia in January. Oman didn’t get through from the group stage after one win and two losses. Earlier in May, Le Guen had said that he had no intention to quit and will honour his contract with Oman.  

Meanwhile, Al Wahda will begin their pre-season training camp on June 21 before they embark on an external camp to Germany for 21 days.

james@khaleejtimes.com


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