Pioli No Longer Expected to Join Al-Ittihad over Turmoil

Stefano Pioli was on the verge of taking over Al-Ittihad, but the hiring slowed down significantly. It’s now unlikely due to issues inside the team. Reports from France suggested Karim Benzema vetoed it, but that was unconfirmed, Sky reports.

The Italian gaffer has second thoughts considering the confusion. Team president Louay Al-Nazer handed his resignation to the sports minister. They have been put on hold for now while an investigation looks into what happened.

If Pioli pulls out of the race, Al-Ittihad could turn to a French coach. Laurent Blanc and Hervé Renard would be the favorites over Christophe Galtier. The future of director Ramon Planes is also in doubt. The former Milan manager concurred on a three-year contract with a potential €10M salary including add-ons.

He’s still under contract with the Rossoneri since he didn’t agree to a severance package after getting the ax.

Al-Ittihad had already started being linked to some Serie A players when the news about Pioli started circulating, for instance, his lieutenant Ismael Bennacer and Inter defender Stefan De Vrij. The latter dismissed the buzz about his departure after the latest Netherlands game (via Tuttomercatoweb).

“I’m very happy at Inter, and I see myself with their colors.”

His agent Federico Pastorello weighed in as well.

“They are just rumors. He’s fully focused on Euro 2024.”

The transfer market in Saudi Arabia will formally start in about ten days.

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