SHANGHAI: Shanghai Shenhua head coach Jean Tigana yesterday denied he had resigned from the club after state media reported the former Fulham boss had quit amid growing confusion over his future in China.
Speculation has swirled over the past week that Tigana faced the axe, particularly after he missed a home game on Friday following star striker Nicolas Anelka's appointment as player-coach at the club.
The state-run Shanghai Daily yesterday quoted Shenhua's main investor Zhu Jun as saying the former French international had handed in his resignation and Jean-Florent Ikwange Ibenge -- a new assistant coach -- would likely take over.
But Tigana yesterday denied he had quit, although he declined to confirm whether or not he was still at the club.
"That's wrong," he said by phone, in response to a question on whether he had resigned.
"I have nothing to declare," he added when asked if he was still at the club.
Shenhua, meanwhile, declined to comment yesterday.
The team lost 1-0 to Tianjin Teda in Shanghai's Hongkou Stadium on Friday and after the game a club official said "adjustments" had been made to the coaching staff but insisted Tigana remained with the team.
The club's Australian forward Joel Griffiths, however, indicated that he believed the 56-year-old Frenchman was finished at Shenhua.
The club last week sacked three assistant coaches brought on board by Tigana and hired four new ones as replacements, state media reported. AFP