Al Ain-bound Argentine coach Hernan Crespo will arrive on Monday to formally sign his contract, the UAE club said.
Crespo will succeed Dutch coach Alfred Schreuder who parted ways with Al Ain last week after just six months in charge following media reports he would be moving to Saudi Arabia.
Al Ain made the announcement on social media platform X with a video clip reviewing Crespo’s career as a player and coach.
“Hernan Crespo has shone as a global star and imposed his personality as an exceptional coach. His global status and exceptional ambitions are consistent with the leader of Asian football,” the club said.
Al Ain had announced earlier that they had reached an initial agreement with Crespo, who played for Argetina as wwell as a host of leading European clubs including Parma, Lazio, Inter Milan and Chelsea after starting at River Plate.
Crespo, 48, left Qatari champions Al-Duhail last October by mutual consent after a run of poor results and was replaced by former Paris St Germain manager Christophe Galtier.
Al Ain signed 51-year-old Schroeder last May after the departure of coach Sergei Rebrov, but media have linked the Dutch coach with Saudi champions Al-Ittihad, who have sacked Portuguese coach Nuno Espirito Santo.
Al Ain are third in the UAE Pro League with 15 points after seven games. They trail leaders Al Wasl by two points.
They were the first team to book their place in the Asian Champions League last 16, the former winners beating Saudi Arabia’s Al-Fayha 3-2 last week to maintain their perfect start to this season’s continental competition.