File photo of an Egypt Cup final game between Masry and Ahly in Alexandria, Egypt, August 15, 2017 (Reuters)
Egypt’s Ahly, who have stuttered of a late after a record-breaking league season, stepped up their search for a new foreign manager to replace Hossam El-Badry as they take on Masry in the season finale on Sunday.
El-Badry, who led Ahly to the domestic double last season and the league with six matches to spare this term, abruptly handed in his resignation after the Red Devils slumped to a shock 2-0 loss at Uganda’s Kampala City last week to continue their poor start to their African Champions League group-stage campaign.
The reverse in Uganda, which saw them fall to the bottom of their Champions League group with a solitary point from two matches, was the latest in several poor results which also saw them lose to Zamalek in the Cairo derby and exit the Egypt Cup with another surprising defeat by modest Assiouty Sport in the quarter-finals.
Ahly’s demanding supporters consider a league triumph a mere formality and that title was not enough to rescue Badry, who had been under pressure for some time.
The club now are focusing on finding a replacement as soon as possible and they said on Saturday they have drawn up a six-man shortlist for the vacant managerial seat.
“The shortlist includes six foreign managers whose nationalities are Argentinean, Portuguese, Brazilian, Dutch, Serbian and Czech,” Ahly said in a statement on their official website.
“The club have opened channels of negotiations with the six managers … to settle the matter as soon as possible.”
Local reports said that Argentinean boss Ramon Diaz, a Copa Libertadores winner wirh River Plate in 1996, is a frontrunner to take over Egypt and Africa's most successful outfit.
Ahly will be looking to snap their four-match winless run in all competitions when they meet Masry in the final game of the 2017-18 league season.
They will be led by caretaker coach Ahmed Ayoub, who was one of El-Badry’s assistants. Masry are in a buoyant mood after another fine season, having ensured a third-place finish in the league.
Masry also made a convincing start to their African Confederation Cup group-stage campaign, collecting four points from their opening two matches.
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