Fulham have failed to persuade René Meulensteen to join their first-team coaching staff, with the former Manchester United assistant set to become the Qatar Football Association's technical director.
Martin Jol, the Fulham manager, had advanced the candidacy of Meulensteen, his friend and fellow Dutchman, and he took a personal role in the negotiations, which got under way last month. The plan was to bring in Meulensteen as his No2 and tap into his experience and coaching methods.
Meulensteen had two spells at United, which added up to 11 and a half years, working initially with the youth and reserve teams and, after he returned in 2007, the first team. Sir Alex Ferguson promoted him to the position of first-team coach in 2008. The 49-year-old left Old Trafford last summer for Anzhi Makhachkala, which resulted in an ill-fated 16-day tenure as the Russian club's manager when Guus Hiddink left two games into the season.
Meulensteen had reservations about joining Fulham, which were related in part to job security. Jol has come under pressure during the club's frustrating start to the season, although Saturday's 1-0 home win against Stoke City brought a little respite. Jol, the chief executive, Alistair Mackintosh, and the new owner, Shahid Khan, each attempted to persuade Meulensteen to join them, with Khan inviting him to the United States the week before last for talks.
But Meulensteen has been tempted by Qatar, where the Football Association is looking ahead to hosting the 2022 World Cup finals. Earlier in his career, Meulensteen coached the Qatar Under-16 and Under-17 national teams and then, at club level in the country, al-Ittihad and al-Sadd.