In a stunning development, Zamalek SC manager Patrice Carteron has been named as the new manager of Saudi Professional League side Al Taaawon.
Carteron is said to have contacted president Mortada Mansour on Monday 14 September where he confirmed that he would activate his own contract termination clause after receiving a lucrative offer from the Saudi side.
The former TP Mazembe, Raja and Ahly coach is believed to have paid his $250,000 release in full.
The two-time CAF Champions League-winning coach was earning $120,000 a month with the White Knights and is believed to have attracted interest from a host of clubs in the Gulf region.
Carteron was appointed as Zamalek head coach last December, succeeding Serbian coach Milutin “Micho” Sredojevic. He took charge of the club in 31 games, winning 19 while losing only three.
Only in June, Carteron had signed a one-year contract extension after lifting the CAF Super Cup as well as the Egyptian Super Cup in February despite an indifferent showing in the Egyptian Premier League.
Zamalek currently sits in second place in the Egyptian Premier League, with 55 points, 17 points behind leaders Ahly who need two points from the remaining seven games to clinch a fifth successive league title and the 42nd in club history. Zamalek are also in the quarter-finals of the Egypt Cup, where they will face Smouha.
50-year-old Carteron also led Zamalek to the CAF Champions League semi-finals after eliminating Esperance Sportive de Tunis 3-2 on aggregate.
With a massive CAF Champions League semi-final against Raja Casablanca looming, the Frenchman’s departure has rocked the Egyptian Premier League giants board and fanbase.
Carteron faces a tough task at Al Taawon, who finished 12th on the Saudi Professional League table last season.
The 50-year-old replaces Portuguese manager, Pedro Emanuel, who had led Al Taawon to Saudi Cup triumph in 2019.
Al Taawon are taking part in the AFC Champions League, leading Group C which comprises Al-Duhail, Sharjah, and Perspolis.
Their next game will be against Perspolis on Friday 18 September in the fourth round of the competition’s group stage.
Speculation is rife over who will succeed Carteron with a list of stellar names being linked to one of the hottest seats on the African coaching landscape. Reports say Tarek Yehia is set to be named as interim head coach while volatile club president Mortada Mansour searches for his third managerial appointment this season.
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