Jimenez Favored to Stay at AEK, Still Questions About Araujo
Manolo Jimenez is favored to remain as AEK’s coach for the new season while Sergio Araujo’s stay at the club is still up in the air.
When Manolo Jimenez took over AEK in January, the club sat in seventh place of the Superleague table. He then led the Kitrinomavri to a great second half of the season and a playoff spot with a fourth place finish in the regular season. Jimenez’s success does not end there as the Enosis made it to this year’s Greek Cup Final and lost to PAOK with a controversial offsides goal late in the game.
Moreover, with Jiménez, AEK adopted a more attractive playing style that pleased both the fans and the president, with AEK finishing as the league’s highest scoring team for the second half of the season. Although Jiménez was criticized for decisions in the big derbies, one cannot deny that he played a major role in saving AEK’s season from disaster (missing out on the playoffs).
If AEK put together good performances in the playoffs, regardless if they qualify for next season’s Champions League (first in the playoffs), Jiménez will likely remain in charge next season. As for Jiménez himself, he has also expressed his wish to stay in Athens.
Another hot topic at AEK is whether Sergio Araujo will remain at the club. Las Palmas still own the player’s rights and they will decide whether he will return to Spain or be sold to another club. Sources mention that AEK have not yet started negotiations with Las Palmas for his acquisition, however the Kitronomavri wish to keep the player after his outstanding performances since joining the club in January.
The player stated during an interview with NOVA, that it his will to stay with AEK. He mentioned that he is happy in Greece and “in love” with the AEK fans. However, he added that it is not up to him, but up to Las Palmas and AEK to reach a deal for his stay.
As for Ronald Vargas, his contract renewal seems unlikely, as AEK’s offer does not meet the player’s demands. In the case no final agreement is reached, AEK will will likely look to sign Nabil Bahoui, who is leaving Hamburger SV as a free agent at the end of this season.