Istanbul (AFP) – Istanbul giants Galatasaray on Tuesday were set to appoint former Croatian international Igor Tudor as new manager after firing Dutch manager Jan Olde Riekerink because of lacklustre results.
Galatasaray’s top executives held an emergency meeting about the Dutchman’s future following the 1-2 home defeat to lowly Kayserispor on Sunday, the Hurriyet daily and Dogan news agency said.
A formal board meeting later Tuesday confirmed the decision to fire Riekerink, who has only been at the club for a year, and appoint Tudor in his place, according to the reports.
Tudor, who currently manages Karabukspor in Turkey, has agreed a 1.5 year deal with the Istanbul club, Dogan news agency said.
The appointment is expected to be announced later in the day by Galatasaray, the reports said.
Fanatik daily said Galatasaray would pay Karabukspor a mere 150,000 euros ($160,000) in compensation.
But the reports have already prompted an angry reaction from Karabukspor chairman Ferudun Tankut, who accused the wealthy Istanbul side of stealing his coach.
He said the club had discovered the news from the media and said it would protest to the Turkish football federation against the “injustice”,
He suggested the club was discriminated against as it was from provincial Anatolia rather than Istanbul.
“If Galatasaray has made such a move, then it’s unethical,” he said.
A successful playing career saw Tudor, 38, notch up a decade worth of appearances as a defender for the Croatian national team and Juventus of Italy.
He retired early with an ankle injury and then turned to management, first with his native Hajduk Split and then PAOK of Greece and Karabukspor who he joined in 2016.
The defeat against Kayserispor left Galatasaray in third place in the Super Lig behind leaders and defending champions Besiktas and surprise package Basaksehir.
The 2015 champions Galatasaray have a team packed with stars such as Germany’s Lukas Podolski and Dutch playmaker Wesley Sneijder, and for the management the title is a must.
Riekerink told the Fanatik daily that he had not been informed of the discussions about his future.
“It would be normal if the decision taken at that meeting was discussed with me first,” he said.
The Turkish Super Lig is notorious for its revolving door managerial jobs but the situation at Galatasaray has been extreme even by local standards.
If Tudor’s appointment is confirmed, he will be the sixth manager to take charge of the club since 2014.