Donadoni parts company with Shenzhen FC after poor start

FILE PHOTO: Serie A - Napoli vs Bologna - Stadio San Paolo, Naples, Italy - January 28, 2018 Bologna coach Roberto Donadoni REUTERS/Ciro De Luca

(Reuters) - Roberto Donadoni has left his role as manager of Shenzhen FC with his assistant Zhang Xiaorui taking charge on an interim basis, the Chinese Super League (CSL) club said here on Tuesday.

Former Italy head coach Donadoni departs with the club sixth out of eight teams in Group A of the revamped 2020 CSL following three defeats from their opening four matches, including a 2-1 loss to Henan Jianye on Monday.

Shenzhen said in a statement here that club captain Gao Lin will serve as player-coach to assist Zhang, while the Chinese media reported that former Chongqing Lifan boss Jordi Cruyff could take over as their head coach permanently.

The 56-year-old Donadoni was named Shenzhen’s head coach in July 2019 to replace Juan Ramon Lopez Caro, who led the team to promotion from the second division.

But Donadoni guided them to only two wins in 14 matches at the helm.

Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge