The former Premier League coach is close to being sacked by Al-Ittihad after the row with Benzema

Nuno Espirito Santo is said to be “on the brink” of being sacked by Saudi League side Al Ittihad after a violent incident with Karim Benzema.

The 49-year-old former Porto and Wolves boss was appointed as Al Ittihad’s new boss in July last year, just seven months after being sacked by Premier League side Spurs.

He helped the Tigers win their first Saudi League title since 2009 and decided to strengthen their squad this summer with the signings of N’Golo Kante, Karim Benzema and Jota.

But after a tricky start to the 2023/24 season with two wins from their last nine games, Espirito Santo’s job looks to be on the line following a string of poor results, not to mention a falling out with Benzema.

Spanish media outlet Relevo suggest that “the temperature got hotter than it should have been” on Monday when Espirito Santo made his point known during a post-half-time chat.

Al Ittihad were losing 1-0 to Iraqi side Al Quwa Al Jawiya in the Asian Champions League.

And after Espirito Santo expressed his thoughts on the team’s performance, Benzema raised his voice at the coach and insults were reportedly exchanged.

“The former Madrid player is much more than just the star of the team. His power also extends off the field,” the report said.

Al Ittihad’s board are said to be evaluating the best way to end Espirito Santos’ contract in Jeddah.

Jose Mourinho has been linked with a move to the Arab club, but it seems they want to hire a French coach to satisfy the likes of N’Golo Kante and Karim Benzema.

Zinedine Zidane is the so-called “unattainable dream” of the Saudi government, but after being offered a blank cheque, he rejected their offer.