0818 GMT December 03, 2022
Portuguese manager José Morais signed a three-year contract to take the job at the Persian Gulf Pro League club Sepahan.
Morais, 56, will replace ex-Sepahan skipper Moharam Navidkia, who stepped down from his role in early June after leading the club to runner-up and third-spot finishes in the Iranian top flight in the past two seasons.
A former assistant to Portuguese great José Mourinho during his time at Chelsea, Inter, and Real Madrid, Morais is no stranger to the Asian football, enjoying successful spells in South Korea and Saudi Arabia.
Morais led Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors to the K League 1 title in 2019 and then celebrated a domestic double with the club a year later.
The Portuguese joined Al Hilal in May 2021 on a contract until the end season, which finished with the league triumph for the Saudi Blue Waves.
Morais will be the first foreign coach to take over at Sepahan since late Croatian Zlatko Kranjcar – a league winner with the Isfahan-based side in 2012 – hoping to bring an end to the club’s seven-year title drought.
Sepahan will be eager to step up its transfer activity under Morais, having already seen Soroush Rafiei, Danial Esmaeilifar, Giorgi Gvelesiani leave for Persepolis, while prolific striker Sajjad Shahbaz-Zadeh reunited with Esteghlal.
Former Gol Gohar Sirjan fullback Milad Zakipour has been Sepahan’s sole recruitment ahead of next season, set to kick off in mid-August.