Nuno Espirito Santo, a former Tottenham manager, was fired by Saudi Pro League winners Al-Ittihad due to a string of disappointing performances.
Al-Ittihad has already won six of their twelve league games this year. On Monday, they lost 2-0 against the Iraqi Air Force Club in the Asian Champions League. Following his dismissal by Tottenham eight months ago, Nuno, 49, took over at Al-Ittihad in July 2022. Hassan Khalifa, the team’s assistant coach, will assume the temporary leadership.
Zinedine Zidane, the former manager of Real Madrid, and Laurent Blanc, the former manager of France and Paris St-Germain, are both rumoured targets of the club to take over as head coach.
Nuno, a Portuguese manager, was successful throughout his tenure at Wolves from 2017 to 2021. However, he was only at Spurs for four months when Antonio Conte took over, following Spurs’ five-game losing streak in the Premier League.
The former Porto coach led Al-Ittihad of Jeddah to the Saudi championship the previous season, but there were rumours of a tense relationship with former Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema, who joined the team in June of this year as part of the league’s star-studded inflow.
In a statement on X (formerly known as Twitter), Al-Ittihad said: “The club has announced the end of its contract with Portuguese coach Nuno Santo. This decision comes after a comprehensive technical evaluation of the past phase during which he was in charge of coaching the first football team.”