Porto fires Spanish coach Julen Lopetegui

Lisbon, Jan 8 (IANS) FC Porto fired its Spanish coach Julen Lopetegui on Friday, the Portuguese football club officially announced in a statement posted on its website.

Sources close to the coach said the club has already told Lopetegui on Thursday the decision to fire him, but the official announcement was not made until Friday, reports Efe.

“The board of FC Porto has taken the decision to change the technical team led by Julen Lopetegui… FC Porto and Julen Lopetegui are at this moment negotiating the terms of rescission of the contract,” the Portuguese club said.

“This means that training will be taken by Rui Barros, who will take over as interim coach,” the club added.

The dismissal of the Spanish coach comes after Porto suffered two defeats and a draw in the last three games, which caused it to lose the lead of the Primeira Liga and now stands four points behind leader Sporting Lisbon.

The Dragons were also eliminated from the Champions League, although they went on to compete in the Europa League and are still alive in the Taca de Portugal.

Lopetegui, 49, was serving his second season at Porto, with whom he finished second in the Primeira Liga last season and reached the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

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