Dubai: Bruno Metsu is one of five names on a shortlist to succeed Diego Maradona at Al Wasl, the club’s vice president Mohammad Bin Dokhan said Wednesday.
Confirming the termination of Maradona’s contract Tuesday and revealing plans for a farewell ceremony for the former coach, Bin Dokhan said: “We cannot deny Maradona was the best footballer in the world and he is a very qualified coach and did a lot to help Al Wasl, but we are looking forward to bringing someone else in to take Al Wasl onto the next level and toward championships.”
"The new board is working for the sake of Al Wasl with the best efforts and in good faith to put Al Wasl back on the right track – to bring a new coach and new players to the club following a careful and comprehensive technical study of possible succesors.”
Bin Dokhan, who had earlier denied rumours of an approach for out-of-work coaches Harry Redknapp and Sven Goran Eriksson, added: “Bruno Metsu is one of those names available to us now and on the table, by next week we hope to make our decision and name Maradona’s successor. There are four or five names on the table.”
“The market for players is still open and there is a chance to buy new players of high quality and we are very near signing with a coach and his technical committee, following the great work of the board.”
Bin Dokhan said: “On a personal basis we are not happy about terminating the contract of Diego Maradona. But we have to steer clear of emotional feelings towards Maradona. We are working here for the sake of Al Wasl to appoint a new coach for the sake of the club with all comprehensive technical aspects in mind.”
Denying a delay in the news of Maradona’s sacking from the time news first leaked of his departure in mid June, Bin Dokhan said chairman Mohammad Bin Fahad was right to deny earlier reports as rumours.
“What the chairman said at this time was right. Maradona was continuing with his contract at that time, before we decided upon the results of a comprehensive technical study, which weren’t yet released.
“It was the right time to terminate the contract now and we took the proper channels, calling Maradona’s legal representative and translator, it took time to study all the issues but I believe we declared this at the right time.”
Bin Dokhan added that the decision to terminate Maradona’s contract was not bent on financial issues and that the club got all returns from marketing revenues on their Maradona investment as expected. The club refused to reveal details of Maradona’s compensation package and couldn’t confirm any details of his proposed farewell ceremony other than the fact Maradona had yet to RSVP.