Sredojevic fires back: Ex-Pirates coach Milutin Sredojevic says Zamalek report is ‘total nonsense’
Milutin Sredojevic‚ who resigned as Orlando Pirates coach on Friday‚ has labeled as “nonsense” a report in the Egyptian media claiming he has been announced already as coach of Zamalek.
The report‚ on the reputed football website Kingfut.com‚ quotes Zamalek chairman Mortada Mansour saying Sredojevic will take over the Cairo giants.
The report claims Sredojevic will arrive in Egypt on Sunday to sign his contract.
Adding to the confusion of a saga that saw Sredojevic’s resignation announced in bombshell statement posted on Pirates’ official website late on Friday night‚ Mansour on Thursday had announced another Serbian‚ Aleksandar Stanojevic‚ as Zamalek’s new coach. The president now claims that was a “trick” to expose the club’s enemies.
Sredojevic‚ contacted by SowetanLIVE sister publication TimesLIVE on Saturday morning‚ was in Istanbul on transit to his home in Serbia‚ where his mother is seriously ill with breast cancer.
Asked about the Kingfut report‚ the coach responded: “That report is total nonsense.
“I am travelling to see my mother who is sick in Serbia. And we shall see what will come after that. [Whether] I will come back to Africa.
“But if he [Mansour] really wants me he needs to fork out millions.”
He added: “The moment [after] Pirates announced I have resigned [I travelled]. I am now in Istanbul flying to my country.
“That is total nonsense about the other guy [Mansour]. How is it mathematically possible to do the things in that way?
“He has been begging me to come to his team and whatever. Maybe I will even go.
“But the point is I have not signed anything‚ I have not agreed anything.”
Sredojevic said his mother “has breast cancer”. “She has been undergoing chemotherapy‚” the coach said.
The announcement of Sredojevic’s resignation by Pirates came as a shock.
Bucs had only played three games in 2019-20. They started with a 3-1 home Absa Premiership win against Bloemfontein Celtic‚ then lost 1-0 in the first leg of their Caf Champions League preliminary-round tie against Green Eagles in Zambia on Saturday.
Bucs had been overwhelmed 3-0 by SuperSport United in a league defeat at Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit on Wednesday night.
But the coach’s resignation‚ on the eve of Saturday’s MTN8 quarterfinal against Highlands Park at Orlando Stadium‚ was still far from expected‚ as the defensive errors against SuperSport were seen as teething problems.
In his two previous seasons‚ though‚ Sredojevic has not managed to satiate Pirates’ hunger to end a trophy drought extending back to the 2014 Nedbank Cup.
Mansour was quoted on Kingfut as saying on Saturday morning: “‘Micho’ [Sredojevic] was our first choice. [Interim manager] Tarek Yehia will be his assistant ... .”
At the time of this report going being published there was no mention of Sredojevic’s supposed impending appointment on Zamalek’s official website.
Zamalek have been seeking a head coach since Khaled Galal was fired last month. He had only occupied the position since May‚ after Swiss Christian Gross’s contract was not renewed.