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Fenerbahce to name Advocaat as manager

Istanbul (AFP) – Istanbul football giants Fenerbahce are set to name the well travelled Dutch coach Dick Advocaat as their new manager following the sacking of Vitor Pereira, reports said Monday.

Advocaat was to travel to Turkey following secret talks in the Netherlands and could be taking charge of the team’s training as soon as Tuesday, the NTV channel and Fanatik sports daily reported.

In a statement to Fanatik, Advocaat, 68, appeared to confirm the appointment, saying he thought he would not return to club management but Fenerbahce made an offer he could not refuse.

“Fenerbahce made me an unbelievable offer. And I agreed. You don’t turn down such an offer from such a big club,” he was quoted as saying.

In a colourful managerial career spanning over three decades that has seen spells with some two dozen clubs and countries, Advocaat had most recently managed clubs including Zenit St Petersburg and Sunderland.  

Fenerbahce decided to part company with Pereira after the team’s defeat at the hands of Monaco in the third qualifying round of the Champions League earlier this month.

The board are keen to have a new manager in place for when Fenerbahce take on Grashopper of Zurich in the first leg of play-offs for the Europa League in Istanbul on Thursday.

Turkish press reports have said Advocaat has already stepped down from his position as assistant to Netherlands national manager Danny Blind for the move.

Pereira, a former Porto and Olympiakos boss, was appointed Fenerbahce coach in June 2015. 

But the club lost out to local rivals Besiktas in the race for the league title last season despite boasting talent like former Manchester United stars Robin van Persie and Nani.

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