Olaroiu 'agrees' €4m Al Ahli deal - report
Al Ahli's search for a new manager looks to be drawing to a close with reports in Romania claiming Cosmin Olaroiu has agreed to leave Al Ain for the Rashid Stadium hotseat.
As revealed by Sport360° last week, Ahli have made Olaroiu their No1 choice to replace Quique Sanchez Flores who stood down last month after 19 months in charge
Despite denials from Ahli chairman Abdallah Al Naboodah that Olaroiu was indeed the man they wanted to succeed Quique, a controversial deal looks to be edging ever closer.
According to Romanian daily Adevărul an Ahli delegation, which Sport360° understands included director of football Roy Aitken, met with Olaroiu in Bucharest last month to discuss a move to Dubai.
That comes after Al Ain reportedly reneged on certain details of a new two-year deal which Olaroiu is understood to have agreed in principle with the UAE champions before departing for his summer holidays.
Despite Al Ain's best efforts to smooth over negotiations, with club chairman Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Khalid Al Nahyan travelling to Romania to meet with Olaroiu in person, the 44-year-old had already made his mind up to join Ahli.
Sport360° understands Olaroiu has agreed a three-year deal with the Dubai club who had also considered former Real Madrid No2 Aitor Karanka for the position after a personal endorsement from Jose Mourinho.
It is claimed Olaroi, who led Al Ain to back-to-back Pro League titles in 2012 and 2013, will earn €4milllion-a-year with Ahli - making him the highest paid Romanian coach in world football, surpassing the €3m earned by Shakhtar Donetsk's Mircea Lucescu.
Ahli have been unavailable for comment this afternoon although a spokesman did confirm to Sport360° on Monday night that Olaroiu was the only candidate in the running for the post.
Reports claim that Olaroiu travelled to Paris on Tuesday to sign his deal with Ahli, a claim that gains some credence with the fact director of football Aitken is known to be in London, albeit the club claims, for "family reasons".
Olaroiu's move from Al Ain to Ahli, who finished runners-up in the Pro League last season, would be a hugely controversial one given the recent history between the two clubs both on and off the pitch.
Aside from being title rivals, the two fell out last season after their Pro Legaue fixture at the Rashid Stadium was abandoned after a linesman was struck with an object thrown by an Ahli supporter. Al Ain were later awarded a 3-0 win and Ahli banned for two home games.
Meanwhile, it has also been claimed that Olaroiu's first job as Ahli boss will be to try and sign compatriot Mirel Radoi from Al Ain.
Radoi, 32, has been an intregal part of Al Ain's side in both their title winning seasons and has one year remaining on his contract with the Garden City club.
Ahli have one foreigner spot still available after Chilean playmaker Luis Jimenez applied to become a Palestinian citizen last month leaving only new boy Hugo Viana and captain Grafite as their foreign imports.
Ricardo Quaresma and Achille Emana also remain on Ahli's books although they have both been made aware that they are surplus to requirements and are free to find new clubs.