DOHA: Dutchman Rene Meulensteen (pictured), who was an assistant to Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United, is set to join Qatar Football Association (QFA) as its technical director, according to news reports yesterday.
Various news reports yesterday claimed that English Premier League (EPL) side Fulham have failed to persuade Meulensteen to join their first-team coaching staff, with the 49-year-old set to become the QFA’s technical director.
In the Daily Mail, it is understood that the QFA have offered Meulensteen a lucrative contract which the tabloid suggests the former assistant coach could receive a seven-figure sum salary.
BBC also reported that the 49-year-old spent time with Qatari officials to discuss a possible job offer, who is keen to take charge of a large-scale project.
If Meulensteen takes up the QFA job, it won’t be his first time in Qatar.
Earlier in his career, Meulensteen coached the Qatar Under-16 and Under-17 national teams and then, at club level in the country, Al Ittihad (now called Al Gharafa) and Doha giants Al Sadd.
Meulensteen had two spells at United, which added up to 11 and a half years, working initially with the youth and reserve teams and, after he returned in 2007, the first team, the report said.
Sir Alex, who retired at the end of last season, promoted Meulensteen to the position of first-team coach in 2008.
According to The Guardian, the broadsheet hinted that new owner Shahid Khan attempted to persuade Meulensteen to join Fulham with the Pakistani-born Khan inviting him to the United States the week before last for talks.
After leaving Manchester United, the Dutchman was hired as Anzhi Makhachkala coach, but was fired after 16 days as part of a major overhaul by the club’s owner. THE PENINSULA