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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 28 January 2021

Former Al Ain manager Zoran Mamic open to UAE return for a 'long-term' project

Currently the sporting director at Dinamo Zagreb, Mamic's stock in UAE football remains high following a succesfull spell in the Garden City

Zoran Mamic guided Al Ain to a league and President's Cup double and the final of the Fifa Club World Cup. AFP
Zoran Mamic guided Al Ain to a league and President's Cup double and the final of the Fifa Club World Cup. AFP

Former Al Ain manager Zoran Mamic is open to a return to UAE football, but only for the right project, after a number of clubs expressed an interest in him.

The Croat, who managed the Garden City club with distinction until January this year, is currently sporting director at Dinamo Zagreb in his homeland. He last managed Saudi Arabia's Al Hilal, before being relieved of his duties last April following less than three months in charge.

However, Mamic’s stock in the UAE remains high, with a selection of Arabian Gulf League clubs making it known they would be interested in appointing him. The former international midfielder, 47, was this weekend linked with Al Jazira, should they decide to dispense with manager Jurgen Streppel, although the 2016/17 champions are understood not to be one of the sides to have reached out to his representatives. Meanwhile, Al Ahli Jeddah in Saudi have also sounded him out.

Currently, Al Nasr are seeking a new manager having last week dismissed Brazilian Caio Zanardi, while rumours persist regarding Laurentiu Reghecampf’s position at Al Wasl and Maurice Stein’s suitability to Al Wahda. There is a vacancy at Ittihad Kalba following Fabio Viviani’s dismissal, yet Mamic would be intent on joining only a club capable of challenging for major honours.

Sources close to Mamic confirmed to The National that he would be willing to come back to the UAE, but stated for only a “serious and long-term project” where emphasis was placed on player development and astute recruitment.

During almost two years at Al Ain, Mamic guided the club to the league and President’s Cup double – the first time in their history that they captured both trophies in the same season – and to the final of December’s Fifa Club World Cup, which took place in the Emirates.

Published: October 6, 2019 06:32 PM

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