A new boss for Karim Benzema & N'Golo Kante! Al-Ittihad set to appoint Marcelo Gallardo as Nuno Espirito Santo replacement following Julen Lopetegui U-turn



Posted Thursday, November 16, 2023 by Goal.com

A new boss for Karim Benzema & N'Golo Kante! Al-Ittihad set to appoint Marcelo Gallardo as Nuno Espirito Santo replacement following Julen Lopetegui U-turn

Karim Benzema & N'Golo Kante will reportedly train under Marcelo Gallardo at Al-Ittihad following Julen Lopetegui's U-turn.

WHAT HAPPENED?
According to TyC Sports, the 47-year-old will head to the Middle East to take charge of Al-Ittihad in the Saudi Pro League. Gallardo will sign a contract with the club until June 2025. However, there will be an option to extend the deal for a further two-year period until June 2027.

THE BIGGER PICTURE
Former manager, Nuno Espirito Santo, was sacked after he reportedly got involved in a heated dressing room clash with Benzema after a 2-0 loss in the AFC Champions League against Iraqi side Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya. The defending champions set their sights on former Spain and Real Madrid manager, Lopetegui, to replace the Portuguese but he declined the offer as he wants to make a return to the Premier League.

DID YOU KNOW?
Gallardo is often considered to be the greatest manager in the history of River Plate. During his nine-year stint with the Argentine outfit, he has won 14 titles including two Copa Libertadores, one of which was lifted after defeating bitter rivals Boca Juniors. He also guided River Plate to the final of the FIFA Club World Cup but lost to Barcelona in the summit clash in 2015.

WHAT NEXT FOR AL-ITTIHAD?
Gallardo's first game as Al-Ittihad manager will likely be against Steven Gerrard's Al-Ettifaq on November 24 at Abdullah Al Dabil Stadium in the Saudi Pro League. His task will be cut out as Ittihad find themselves in the fifth spot, 10 points behind Al-Hilal, after matchday 13.



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