Zamalek club president Mortada Mansour has said that the club is not in a hurry to hire a new coach following last week’s shock departure of Patrice Carteron.
The club currently sit second on the Egyptian Premier League table with 58 points, a massive 25 points behind champions Al Ahly. They will also face Moroccan side Raja Casablanca in the African Champions League semi-finals in mid-October.
Mortada’s comments come following reports that the club’s number one candidate to fill the vacancy Jesualdo Ferreira turned down the position.
“Ferreira declined taking charge of Zamalek. He told us in a respectful way that his assistants are in different countries and that he would welcome taking the helm, but from the start of the new season,” club head Mortada Mansour told Sada El-Balad TV channel on Monday night.
“I told the committee that works on choosing the new coach that we are not in a hurry, and I say the same fact to Zamalek fans,” Mansour added.
The vastly experienced Portuguese tactician was first appointed Zamalek coach in February 2015. He led the club to their 12th Egyptian Premier League title, their first league title since 2004, and led the club to win a domestic double by beating Al Ahly 2–0, in the Egypt Cup final. He resigned in November of the same year following differences with the volatile Mansour.
He is currently out of work after being sacked by Campeonato Brasileiro Série A side Santos FC on 5 August after being knocked out of the 2020 Campeonato Paulista. The 74-year-old turned down Zamalek for personal reasons.
“To the Zamalek fantastic fans: I am really happy and proud about Zamalek’s invitation to lead the team again,” Ferreira said via his Instagram account on Monday night.
“Unfortunately, for personal and familiar reasons, I cannot accept this new challenge at such an important moment for the club. As a fan, I wish the best of luck for the team and hope for you to be African Champions! You will always be in my heart,” he concluded.
According to the Zamalek chairman, the club is now looking at six possible candidates including three other Portuguese coaches: Jesualdo Ferreira, Jaime Pacheco and Jorvan Vieira.
“I saw the financial demands of Pacheco, Calderon and the Italian coach, and I told the committee not to be in a hurry. There are three other coaches who joined the candidates’ list and they are all with respectable careers,” he added without disclosing further details.
Reports in the Egyptian media say 50-year-old Paolo Tramezzani, the former coach of APOEL, Livorno and FC Sion, is the Italian candidate for the job.
Another prominent name on the list is Argentine Gabriel Calderon, who has never coached on the African continent but has a rich experience in coaching in the Middle East. Calderon led the Saudi Arabia national team, Al-Ittihad of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates’ Baniyas, in addition to coaching the national teams of Oman and Bahrain.