Al Jazira appoint former West Ham and Watford chief Nani

HITC Sport understands former West Ham United and Watford technical director Gianluca Nani has been appointed as Al Jazira's new director of football.

Al Jazira have appointed former West Ham United and Watford technical director Gianluca Nani as the club's new head of football operations, HITC Sport understands from sources close to the club.

Abu Dhabi-based Al Jazira, whose chairman Sheikh Mansour recently sold 13% in City Football Group for $400 million, have endured a difficult campaign to date and want to get the club back on track by setting up a new management structure.

City Football Group includes Manchester City, New York City FC and Melbourne City FC and is a minority shareholder in Japanese club Yokohama F. Marinos.

Highly-regarded Nani earned a reputation for nurturing talent as sporting director at Italian side Brescia, helping develop 2006 World Cup winners Andrea Pirlo and Luca Toni.

The 53-year-old then went on to take up the same position at West Ham in 2008, but was dismissed in February 2010 after new owners arrived at Upton Park.

Nani joined Watford in July 2012 working alongside owners - the Pozzo family - he successfully recruited players from across the world as he laid the foundations for the squad which currently sits seventh in the English Premier League.

The Pride of Abu Dhabi have endured a miserable campaign under returning boss Abel Braga, who was sacked on Saturday, with the side who were tipped for an Arabian Gulf League title push currently entrenched in a relegation battle.

One of Nani's first tasks will be to appoint a new head coach at Al Jazira with Harry Redknapp and Brendan Rogers heavily linked with the job.

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch