Former AC Milan boss Alberto Zaccheroni lands in Dubai to seal UAE coaching job

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World at his feet: Alberto Zaccheroni with Japan at World Cup 2014 (Getty).

Former AC Milan, Lazio, Juventus and Japan coach Alberto Zaccheroni undertook final negotiations in Dubai with the UAE Football Association on Sunday as the hunt for Edgardo Bauza’s successor drew towards a conclusion.

Zaccheroni, 64, rejected an initial offer last week but landed in the Emirates late on Saturday night after a breakthrough was made on talks to lead the Whites on home soil at January 2019’s Asian Cup.

A desire to imminently name a replacement saw first-choice picks Ricardo Gareca of Peru and Jorge Luis Pinto of Honduras ruled out in the preceding days because of their commitments in next month’s inter-confederation play-offs – and then potentially the summer’s World Cup 2018.

If discussions reach a positive conclusion, the Italian will return to work for the first time since he was sacked by Beijing Guoan in May 2016 after two wins in nine games amid their worst-ever start to a Chinese Super League-campaign. Zaccheroni made his name at Udinese and Milan in the late 1990s, claiming the 1998/99 Serie A-title with the latter.

His only previous international post came with Japan. He won the 2011 Asian Cup, but resigned in the wake of a disappointing group-stage exit at World Cup 2014.

Zaccheroni has been drafted in by the Whites because of Bauza’s shock defection to Russian qualifiers Saudi Arabia last month, following just three mixed competitive matches in charge.

With no place earned at next year’s extravaganza, Zaccheroni will be judged by success at the following continental event. UAE FA president Marwan bin Ghalita has publicly targeted a run to the final.

The Whites squad will gather once again in early November. A friendly against World Cup entrants Egypt has been mooted.

Meanwhile, one Italian could be set to depart the UAE after Al Nasr’s Cesare Prandelli was linked to the vacant Scotland post.

The Daily Mail stated on Sunday that the ex-Azzurri tactician is interested in exiting the Blue Wave after only five months in charge.

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