Reading appoint Rio Ave's Jose Gomes as manager after failing to attract compatriot Luis Castro
Reading have completed negotiations to take Jose Gomes to their club after failing to bring in their first choice.
The Championship club, who sit 19th in the English second tier, had initially hoped to appoint Guimarães manager Luis Castro as their team's new boss, but he turned down the deal citing that it "would not be a good time to leave."
Castro, 57, is an incredibly highly regarded manager in Portugal, and has been in the Guimarães hotseat since the start of the season, having joined the club from Chaves.
His side are currently occupying 5th in the league standings, earning the impressive tag of 'best of the rest' in Portugal, sitting only behind the traditional Big Three of Benfica, Porto and Sporting and the high-flying Europa League regulars Braga.
However, the multi-million pound contract offered by Reading was not enough to lure the Portuguese manager to the relegation-threatened English outfit.
Failing to sign one Portuguese manager, Reading turned to another, clearly intent on bringing in a Portuguese coach and keen to raid the Primeira Liga to get one, and have since persuaded Rio Ave's Jose Gomes to join the club; perhaps having seen the success that Wolves had in the championship after appointing Nuno Espirito Santo and what a hit Marco Silva proved to be they fancied getting a Portuguese coach of their own.
Gomes, 48, doesn't come with the same reputation as Reading's first choice for the job, having only returned to Portugal this summer from Al-Taawoun.
Indeed, having didn't the previous 4 years managing in Asia, Gomes has yet to convince many in Portugal, and while he got Rio Ave to a secure 10th place position before he departed, that's really the least you would expect from the Portuguese outfit, who should be looking to finish higher in the table and competing with Guimarães for 5th in the league and a potential Europa League spot.
Defensively, Rio Ave have also been disappointing under his guidance, often looking incredibly susceptible when the ball is in their third of the pitch, and often look vulnerable to conceding on the counter-attack. Indeed, in the league, they have already conceded 23 goals, the same as last-placed Chaves, and it could have been even more but for the heroics of goalkeeper Leo Jardim.
That said, Gomes has built a strong foundation at the club, encouraging a possession-based game and instructing his players to pass the ball with confidence, giving his players the belief and freedom to express themselves in an attacking-minded fashion from defence to attack
Additionally, Gomes himself clearly has the confidence and hands-on ability required to take on the responsibility of leading the Championship club to safety, and has made no secret of the fact that he is looking forward to facing the challenge of coaching in “the most competitive” league in the world.
On the style he hopes to bring to the club, he told the club’s media channel that he will be “building up from behind and have players that are happy playing football with a passing game,” while on the team itself, he suggested that there is enough “quality and speed” to carry out that philosophy.
Gomes made no secret about his desire to get immediately to work, and is hoping to instil his thinking in the players as quickly as possible, and even made the impressive claim that he is looking to take Reading back up into the Premier League.
His lack of clear-cut success in his managerial career so far could be construed as something of a problem though, with his spell at Saudi Arabian giants Al-Hilal brief to say the least, while he also suffered the disappointment of winning just 1 of his 13 games at UAE side Baniyas.