Mahmoud El Khatib reveals how Al Ahly appointed Pitso Mosimane

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After a trophy-laden spell in South Africa with Mamelodi Sundowns, which lasted nearly eight years and yielded no fewer than 11 major honours, Mosimane joined the Egyptian giants on 30 September 2020.

In the brief period since his appointment, the 56-year-old has already led the club to the 2019/20 CAF Champions League and Egypt Cup trophies, while he also guided his team home in the Egyptian Premier League after predecessor Rene Weiler had secured the title.

Speaking to the Al Ahly's website ahead of Sunday's 3-1 season-opening win over Misr El-Makkasa, El Khatib explained the process behind the club's inspired move to secure Mosimane's coveted signature.

"...We felt that Weiler wanted to leave the club amid COVID-19 pandemic. Also, there was a ten-day period in his contract allowing both parties to terminate the contract without a penalty clause," the former Egypt international explained.

"I met with Weiler and told him that we need stability in the team but he asked for a vacation to visit his family. I asked him to renew his contract but he was not clear so I rejected his request as the time was not appropriate.

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"I felt that Weiler did now want to continue with the team and he refused to renew his contract so I held a meeting with the planning committee and discussed the alternatives with Zakaria Nassef and Mohsen Saleh.

"We had many candidates from Czech Republic and Argentina, but I suggested searching for a head coach who has much experience in Africa. We started thinking out of the box and Mosimane was among our top four candidates for the job.

"Mosimane had the strongest resume as he is a very good coach and faced many challenges with the teams he coached. He was in charge of Mamelodi Sundowns for eight years and renewed his contract for another five years.

"When we became sure that Mosimane suits us, I contacted him and he was happy with our offer, and his desire played a great role in the negotiations.

"We informed him that he must have an approval from Sundowns President to complete the deal as we followed the legal channels to keep our strong relationship with Mamelodi Sundowns.

"Mosimane sent us a written approval and signed his contract. We waited until Sundowns announced their approval on Mosimane's departure then we signed the contract.

"I have a great relationship with Sundowns' President, who is a well-respected personality, and we met on many occasions at CAF meetings. I wanted to make sure about his approval as we always seek to keep our strong relationship with other clubs."