Pioli’s Move to Al-Ittihad Collapses, Club in Chaos


In a surprising development, Stefano Pioli has decided against taking the managerial position at Saudi Arabian club Al-Ittihad. This unexpected turn of events is reportedly due to opposition from the club’s star player, Karim Benzema, as well as complications in finalizing contract details.

Calciomercato report how Pioli, the former Milan coach, seemed all but certain to join Al-Ittihad as recently as yesterday. However, according to Le Parisien, Benzema played a crucial role in blocking the deal. The French Ballon d’Or winner, who has had issues with current manager Marcelo Gallardo in recent months, apparently prefers a coach he’s familiar with.

As a result, Al-Ittihad has shifted its focus to Christophe Galtier, the ex-Paris Saint-Germain manager. Galtier, who is French like Benzema and considered a friend of the striker, has reportedly been offered a three-year contract worth €12 million per season. He is currently managing Al-Duhail in Qatar.

This situation has triggered a leadership crisis at Al-Ittihad. Club president Laoy Nazer has tendered his resignation, having already finalized the agreement with Pioli alongside sporting director Ramon Planes. The Saudi Ministry of Sport will now decide whether to accept Nazer’s resignation.

If the deal with Al-Ittihad falls through completely, Pioli stands to lose out on a lucrative contract reportedly worth €16 million per season.


Serie A obsessive.