Gent have announced that they have ended their collaboration with coach Hein Vanhaezebrouck. All parties agreed that the time was right for a friendly divorce.
The first thought on hearing the news is that Vanhaezebrouck’s agent, Mogi Bayat, is once more at the centre of affairs.
Tonight, Anderlecht face Glasgow Celtic in the Champions League and Vanhaezebrouck is seen as the number one candidate to take over the vacant position at the Brussels club.
Involved in all the comings and goings is Bayat, who as well as being Vanhaezebrouck’s agent, is a close associate of the Anderlecht management. Bayat was even present at Gent last night for the weekly meeting on team affairs.
Bayat was seen at the Anderlecht ground this morning and he will have welcomed the timing of Vanhaezebrouck’s departure from Gent as his prime aim is to get his man into the Anderlecht job.
Caretaker coach Nicolas Frutos will be in charge of Anderlecht tonight, having been given a four-match trial. He has won the first two games (Westerlo and Beveren) and after Celtic, Standard Liege will arrive in Brussels.
With Vanhaezebrouck quitting the Gent ship, the pressure on Frutos has increased sharply. Frutos played for Anderlecht in the Noughties and ended his career there after a serious injury. He has often talked about his desire to become the first-team coach of ‘Les Mauves’.
The Anderlecht fans – who never fully accepted the previous coach Rene Weiler – see Frutos as one of their own. They would like the Argentinian to be given the post permanently but the powers-that-be are likely to want a more a more experienced man in charge.
Vanhaezebrouck was in charge when Gent won their first ever title in 2015 and was named Coach of the year. He also had a successful run in the Champions League. He had three and a half years at Gent but this year the club has only gained six points from a possible 24.