JOHANNESBURG: Highly successful Portuguese coach Manuel Jose is set to take charge of Angola after quitting Egyptian giants Al-Ahly on Sunday.
An Ahly statement released in Cairo said Jose would be in charge of the Cairo ‘Red Devils’ for the last time at the end of this month when the club play an African Confederation Cup match in Luanda.
Jose and former Brazil, Portugal and Chelsea manager Luiz Felipe Scolari have been linked with struggling Angola, hosts of the biennial African Nations Cup next January.
Scolari was considered favorite for the task of rebuilding an Angolan team that has slumped dramatically after reaching the World Cup finals for the first time three years ago.
But an Angolan football official told AFP in Luanda recently that Scolari was not on their shopping list, making Jose an obvious choice to lead the former Portuguese colony at the 16-nation African showpiece.
“The Ahly board has accepted a request from coach Manuel Jose to terminate his contract at the end of the ongoing Egyptian season, the club statement said.
Jose is leaving Cairo as Ahly struggle to win a fifth consecutive national title after a shock loss to Kano Pillars of Nigeria last weekend in the final qualifying round for the 2009 African Champions League.
Title holders a record six times, Ahly came from two goals behind to force a 2-2 draw with Kano in Cairo, but were eliminated on the away-goal rule after a 1-1 first-leg stalemate.
At home, usually dominant Ahly are involved in a fierce struggle with Ismaili for the Egyptian championship that sees the teams level on points two rounds from the finishing tape.
Ahly have the tougher run-in and although they boast a superior goal difference, it will not count if the teams finish with the same number of points as the rules stipulate a play-off.
Jose guided Ahly to four of their six African Champions League titles and is credited with the development of midfielder Mohamed Abou-Trika into the best current Africa-based footballer.
He joined Ahly in 2001 and won African Champions League and African Super Cup titles before returning home to manage a local club. His second spell in charge from 2003 brought unrivalled success to the ‘Red Devils’.