Guwahati-based Indian Super League (ISL) team NorthEast United FC are all set to appoint João Carlos Pires de Deus as their new head coach for the 2017-18 season, Goal has reliably learnt.
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The 40-year-old De Deus is a former national team manager of the West African nation, Cape Verde between 2008-2010. Post that, he joined Spanish second division side AD Ceuta and was given the boot soon after.
He then went on to extensively manage clubs in Portugal's second tier. In 2014, the managerial job of Sporting Clube de Portugal 'B' was offered to him and De Deus then went on to spend three seasons in Cristiano Ronaldo's boyhood club's reserve team.
Joining the Sportinguistas midway in the 2014-15 season, De Deus took the team to a fifth place finish in his maiden year. The following year, they only managed the tenth spot before parting ways with the club in February 2017 after the club was in danger of being relegated.
Except for a win and a draw, his team lost all six games and were relegated to Liga Pro. De Deus ended his association with the club by mutual consent at the end of the 2016-17 season.
A fullback during his playing days, De Deus spent his entire career in Portugal, representing clubs like Vitoria Setubal and Estoril.
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NorthEast United have been looking for a new head coach ever since Nelo Vingada took the Malaysian national team job earlier this year. The Highlanders, along with FC Pune City, remain the only two teams that haven't reached the semi-finals in the three editions of the ISL.
The club have retained Rowllin Borges and Rehenesh TP and will enter the third round of the player draft later this month. Expanded to 10 teams for the first time, the forthcoming season of the ISL starts in November 2017 and will run until March next year.