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By ESPN Staff

Rijkaard appointed coach at Galatasaray

Frank Rijkaard will replace Bulent Korkmaz as coach at Galatasaray, the Turkish club said on Friday.

Galatasaray did not provide further details but broadcaster CNN Turk said Rijkaard, 46, would arrive in Istanbul on Friday afternoon.

"Galatasaray professional football team has appointed Frank Rijkaard technical director. We wish him success in his new role," said a brief statement from the club.

Former Barcelona coach Rijkaard was set to sign a two-year deal with Galatasaray in a ceremony at 8 pm (1700 GMT), the web site of the Milliyet daily newspaper reported.

It said the deal was reached after Galatasaray chairman Adnan Polat travelled to Spain two days ago and followed the club's failure to reach agreement with Juande Ramos and Bernd Schuster.

Johan Neeskens would join Dutchman Rijkaard at the club in a deal worth around €4m, the report said.

Galatasaray, UEFA Cup champions in 2000 and 17 times domestic champions, had a disappointing season and finished fifth in the league, 10 points adrift of champions Besiktas.

Former Galatasaray captain Korkmaz had been appointed in February in place of Michael Skibbe, who was sacked after a poor run of results. Korkmaz had a contract until the end of the 2009-2010 season.

Rijkaard took charge of Barcelona in 2003 after four years of underachievement and led them to back-to-back league titles and victory in the Champions League in 2006. He left the club in May last year.

During his time at Barcelona he earned plaudits for his commitment to open, attacking football, unflappable temperament and skilful management of high-profile players.

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