Rijkaard to coach South African outfit, Sundowns?

JOHANNESBURG – Mamelodi Sundowns are set to reveal former Barcelona coach Frank Rijkaard as their new manager. In a dramatic move away from the traditional South African model, Rijkaard could take the reins and be given the right to administer the club much in the way English clubs are run.

In a dramatic move away from the traditional South African model, Rijkaard could take the reins and be given the right to administer the club much in the way English clubs are run.

In the English Premiership a manger like Sir Alex Ferguson of Manchester United is the supremo running many aspects of the club.

Although Sundowns boss Patrice Motsepe is being cagey about the identity of the man to take over from Trott Moloto, sources told Pretoria News that the Dutch legend Rijkaard is likely to be at helm with Moloto as his assistant.

"Motsepe is playing his cards close to his chest. The manager is certainly a foreigner but I think he will go for Rijkaard," said a well placed source.

Rijkaard fits the bill of the manager, whom Motsepe described without actually naming him during an announcement of a sponsorship deal between his club and car manufacturers Chrysler/Dodge at Grand Central Motors in Midrand.

"We are going to employ a manager and the whole team will be under him. A manager who has operated at a higher level. We need somebody who has a great track record," said Motsepe.

"The manager will select his team and share his ideas with the technical team. It is very expensive exercise, but we will make an announcement in due time, said Motsepe."

Bringing Rijkaard, who led Barcelona to Uefa Champions League glory in 2006, to Chloorkop is certainly going to cost the third richest person in the country an arm and a leg. The former Ajax Amsterdam player, who brought Barcelona to these shores last year to play Sundowns will definitely not come cheap.

Motsepe said of the seven candidates he spoke to, "four of them said we should do away with our technical team but we said no because we want our people to learn".

Motsepe said the move to appoint a manager is not a suggestion that he has lost faith in current coach Moloto.

"I have got a lot of faith in the coach but we haven’t reached our targets. Every coach’s success is based on results and we haven’t had results. That’s why we are taking this kind of action," said Motsepe, who added that the decision followed recommendations by the committee that was looking at the club’s poor performances.

The Brazilians boss also addressed the crisis that has hit his club recently. The crisis includes misconduct by players and said technical director Ted Dumitru, whom fans were calling for his removal, is staying put.

"I never employed Ted to be a coach at the club. His involvement is like everywhere in the world. His main objective is to identify the best talent and focus on it. Ted is going nowhere," said Motsepe.

Motsepe also read a riot act to wayward defender Mbulelo "OJ"Mabizela.

"At Sundowns nobody is bigger than the club. If anybody lacks discipline we will take strong action against them. We will not allow lack of discipline," he said.

The billionaire was elated about the one year deal he signed with Chrysler, who offered Downs 18 cars yesterday.

"We are excited about deal with Chrysler. Chrysler and Dodge make some of the best vehicles and we are confident that our relationship will contribute to an increase in the sales of their excellent vehicles."

Chrysler SA’s managing director David Elmore said: "The choice of Sundowns for a sponsorship deal of this nature is fitting as it combines the various dynamic brands that will compliment each other."