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Top Coach and Promising Defender Await Last-Minute Approval from Al Ittihad

Bologna, Italy. 16th June, 2024. Bologna, Italy: Milan's Head Coach Stefano Pioli portrait during Bologna FC vs AC Milan (portraits archive), Italian soccer Serie A match in Bologna, Italy, August 21 2023 (Credit Image: © Ettore Griffoni/IPA via Credit: Zuma Press/Alamy Live News
© Alamy / Zuma Press

Stefano Pioli and Arthur Theate are on the verge of joining Al Ittihad, but the final approval is still pending. Theate has completed his medical in Paris, while Pioli has been waiting since Wednesday to finalize the deal. Internal issues within the club are causing delays.

  • Theate has completed his medical in Paris.
  • Pioli has been waiting since Wednesday to finalize the deal.
  • Internal issues within the club are causing delays.

Stefano Pioli: A Storied Career

Stefano Pioli, born on October 20, 1965, in Parma, Italy, has had an extensive career both as a player and a manager. Known for his tactical flexibility and working well with young players, Pioli often employs formations like 4–2–3–1 and 3–5–2. As a player, he was a defender and played for several clubs, including Parma, Juventus, Hellas Verona, and Fiorentina.

Playing Career:

  • Parma (1982–1984): 42 appearances, 1 goal
  • Juventus (1984–1987): 35 appearances, 0 goals
  • Hellas Verona (1987–1989): 42 appearances, 0 goals
  • Fiorentina (1989–1995): 154 appearances, 1 goal

Managerial Career Highlights:

  • AC Milan: Serie A Title (2021–22), UEFA Champions League Semi-Finals (2022–23), Panchina d’Oro (2021–22), Serie A Coach of the Year (2022)

Pioli is currently waiting for the final green light from Al Ittihad to sign the necessary documents, a process that has been stalled since Wednesday.

Arthur Theate: Rising Star

Arthur Nicolas Theate, born on May 25, 2000, in Liège, Belgium, is a promising centre-back currently playing for Stade Rennais FC. Standing at 1.85 meters, Theate has already made 18 appearances for the Belgian national team. His senior career includes stints at Oostende and Bologna before moving to Stade Rennais for a €20 million fee.

Career Statistics:

  • Total Club Appearances: 103
  • Total Club Goals: 10

Injuries:

  • Calf Injury (December 2023)
  • Ankle Injury (May 2024)

Theate completed his medical in Paris and is now waiting for the club to approve and sign the contracts. This delay is causing some frustration, but the move is still expected to go through once the internal issues are resolved.

Current Transfer Landscape

The situation with Pioli and Theate comes amid a busy transfer period. AS Roma is pursuing Enzo Le Fée from Stade Rennais FC, aiming to bring in young talent to bolster their squad. Meanwhile, a top defender has chosen to stay in Europe, snubbing offers from the Saudi Pro League, and Arthur Melo is on the verge of leaving Juventus.

These moves highlight the dynamic nature of the transfer market, where clubs and players are constantly making strategic decisions to enhance their careers and teams.


This ongoing situation with Pioli and Theate underscores the complexities and uncertainties that can arise in football transfers, even when all parties are seemingly in agreement.

Sources:

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