Pitso Mosimane has reportedly agreed a two-year contract to takeover as head coach of Egyptian giants Al Ahly just hours after news broke of his resignation as Mamelodi Sundowns coach.
Mosimane who only signed a four-year extension with Sundowns in May, tendered his resignation on Wednesday after reportedly reaching an agreement with the North Africans to replace René Weiler who left his position last week.
Al Ahly are yet to confirm the appointment although Mosimane revealed he has accepted an “international offer” and Sundowns said he was leaving for a “top Egyptian club”.
Mosimane confirmed his departure from Sundowns in an emotional statement on Wednesday but didn’t reveal his next destination save to say he has accepted “an offer to join an international team”.
“It is with a sense of pain and sadness that I announce my departure from Mamelodi Sundowns Football Club. How have accepted an offer to join an international team,” the statement read.
Mosimane praised Sundowns president Dr Patrice Motsepe who he said has been ”like a father to me” for his support throughout his stay at Sundowns and for not standing in the way of his move away from the club.
“My success is his success. Without him I would not have achieved half of what I have. I leave this family knowing that our bond is unbreakable and hoping that with the passage of time our paths will come together again.
“This is not a divorce. We shall remain bonded forever,” the statement added.
In a statement on behalf of Motsepe, Sundowns acknowledged Mosimane’s departure “for a top Egyptian club” had the blessing of the club and said the club would announce his replacement in due course.
“I have on several occasions over the past few years, expressed my support for Pitso Mosimane leaving Sundowns to coach in North Africa or Europe or Bafana Bafana,” Motsepe said.
“Football players and coaches have at times an uncertain and inconsistent future and must pursue new opportunities where rgst may grow and receive greater remuneration.
“Pitso has been the most successful coach in the history of Sundowns and will always be a member of the Mamelodi Sundowns family. I wish him, Moira and his family everything of the very best and I hope to see him coaching in Europe soon.
Mamelodi Sundowns will make announcements in due course concerning the new head coach and other changes that we are introducing,” he added.
Mosimane, 56, has been long linked with Ahly whose president Mohamed El Khatib is a known admirer and has described the former Bafana Bafana coach as ”one of the best in Africa” and was quick to congratulate him after he led Sundowns to a historic domestic treble in the just concluded 2019/20 season.
Reports say Khatib tapped Mosimane for the Al Ahly job immediately after he delivered Sundowns’ 10th Premiership title on a dramatic final day of the season in which the Brazilians overtook Kaizer Chiefs who had been in the driving seat of the title race all season.
Mosimane, South Africa’s most successful coach, attained cult-status in North Africa after he led an exciting Sundowns side to the CAF Champions League title in 2016 whipping Ahly 5-0 along the way.
Al Ahly, Africa’s Club of Century and record eight-time CAF Champions League winners have not won the trophy in seven years and see the South African as the man to restore them to the pyramid of African football.
Wydad Casablanca are reported to have also made contact with the five-time Absa Premiership-winning coach to replace Miguel Gamondi at the end of the current season but Al Ahly have apparently moved to trump their North African rivals and secure the South African.
Mosimane has won a total of 13 titles in spells with Super Sports United and Mamelodi Sundowns.
In eight years with Sundowns, he won 11 trophies including five Absa Premiership titles, the Champions League and the CAF Super Cup