By Niki Bakouli/ email@example.com
After ten days of searching and trying to figure out who is going to take over Fenerbahçe Ulker’s bench, together with the one who was going to be Anadolu Efes’ new coach, it was about time to read the announcements.
And if Simone Pianigiani was from the first moment the favorite for Fenerbahçe Ulker (we wrote about GM Kemal Dinçer’s visit to Italy, long before the end of the Italian championship, together with his meetings with Ettore Messina, Zeljko Obradovic and Dusan Ivkovic), the… quiz we had to solve about Anadolu Efes’ coach wasn’t the easiest one.
We knew for a fact, after GM Engin Özerhun admitted to Eurohoops.net they made an offer to Zeljko Obradovic, that they were waiting for his answer on Friday, when everybody… disappeared. Serbian sources finally confirmed that Zoc denied the offer (which was something around 3,5 million US dollars for him and his assistants), so it was then, when Oktay Mahmuti became the next best thing for the team.
On Saturday he said “yes” to his comeback at Efes (he was there from 1992 to 2001, as an assistant coach and from 2001 till 2007, as the head coach), but we had to wait for the official confirmation on Sunday. Mahmuti signed to coach Anadolu Efes for two years and our… inside information is that he will get around one million US dollars per season.
As we learned from Turkish sources, Simone Pianigiani was about to visit Turkey on Saturday, meet Fenerbahçe Ulker’s owners and have their deal signed. Finally the 43 years old coach signed for 2+1 years (and reportedly 1,6 million euros per season) and Fenerbahçe became the first non Italian team he takes over. He was Montepaschi Siena’s assistant coach from 1995 to 2006 and then he became Carlo Recalcati’s successor, as the head coach of the team. He lead Siena to six national championships, five Italian Super Cups, four Italian Cups and two Euroleague Final Fours. From 2009 he is also the head coach of Italian National Team.
Semih Ozsoy(photo), the owner of Fenerbahçe Ulker, said “we will walk together with Simone to great successes», after he made clear “we talked also with Obradovic, but he wanted 3.000.000 euros from us and we couldn’t go further than 2,5 million. We had to do the best we could for the team”. He also added “Turkish media insists we didn’t meet Messina. But, I still have his messages on my phone”. Pianigiani revealed: “I have always admired Fenerbahçe’s fans and I am looking forward to have their great support on our way to success”.
Fenerbahçe Ulker is in contact with all the agents who represent the players Pianigiani wants to add in his team’s roster. For example, Kemal Dinçer has already notified David Hawkins’ manager (they are ready to offer around 900.000$ per season, for a 3-year contract and also pay to Besiktas according to Turkish league rules the same amount, meaning 900.000$, in order to get his letter of clearance), and also the agents of Giorgos Printezis, Bo McCalebb, Romain Sato and David Andersen. Specially McCalebb’s price is getting higher day by day, since many teams wants him, among them FC Barcelona, Anadolu Efes and Real Madrid, and Siena hasn’t clarify yet how much money they want in order to let him go.