SPORTS

AEK lets Jimenez go and hires Ouzounidis

GEORGE GEORGAKOPOULOS

TAGS: Soccer

Within a few hours on Friday Manolo Jimenez, who led AEK to the league title this season, left the Yellows of Athens, and was replaced by former Panathinaikos manager Marinos Ouzounidis.

Spaniard Jimenez had not extended his contract with the champion, in the hope of receiving an offer from his country. When relegated Las Palmas reached out for him the Andalusian coach raised unexpectedly high demands from AEK for a new contract, and AEK withdrew its proposal to him.

A few hours later Ouzounidis, who a few weeks ago had departed from Panathinaikos, was at the AEK offices and met with owner Dimitris Melissanidis. The two men reached a swift agreement, as if they had long prepared for it, and AEK announced that Ouzounidis had signed a two-year contract.

In a statement Ouzounidis – who is bringing along most of his staff from Panathinaikos – thanked Melissanidis for his confidence and said the team must do everything possible to rise to the expectations.

AEK will enter next season’s Champions League from the third qualifying round this July.

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