UEFA Champions League holders FC Porto have parted company with coach Luigi Del Neri following an emergency board meeting which concluded at 3am local time today. The Italian was only appointed in June and did not take charge of the Portuguese title-holders in a competitive match.
Porto president Pinto da Costa appointed the 53-year-old as a replacement for José Mourinho following his departure to Chelsea FC. Del Neri was awarded a three-year contract having impressed Da Costa with his management of AC Chievo Verona, establishing them in Serie A after leading them out of Serie B and into Europe.
The Porto board gathered last night after Del Neri was absent from training on Friday, reportedly for missing a connecting flight to Porto in Madrid having flown into the Spanish capital from Milan. A club statement said Del Neri had left "for personal reasons".
Del Neri's assistant, Francesco Conti, and physical trainer Ugo Maranza will also leave the club. 'Gigi', as he is known in Italy, recently guided Porto to a 1-0 victory against Liverpool FC and a 2-1 defeat by Galatasaray SK in the United States.
Porto's defence of the Portuguese SuperLiga is scheduled to begin on 29 August, and their Champions League group stage campaign starts in mid-September.
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