Chivas director Fernando Hierro set to join Al Nassr - sources

Chivas announced on Wednesday that sporting director Fernando Hierro is leaving the Liga MX club, with sources telling ESPN that he is set to join Saudi Arabia's Al Nassr.

Known for signing global superstar Cristiano Ronaldo, Al Nassr have tried to sway Hierro in the past and eventually won him over with a better offer as sporting director of their team, sources said.

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"Club Deportivo Guadalajara announces that Fernando Hierro spoke with the board of directors of the institution to inform them of his decision to take another professional opportunity outside the country, which is why as of today he stops providing his services as sports director," Chivas said in a news release.

According to a source, Ronaldo and Hierro, two former Real Madrid legends, have a good connection.

Initially hired by Chivas after their 2022 Apertura run, the former Spain director fell just short of helping bring a trophy to the Liga MX giants after an appearance in the 2023 Clausura final.

Chivas then exited in the quarterfinal stage of the 2023 Apertura, before recently being beaten by eventual champions Club América in the 2024 Clausura.

Without Hierro, the Guadalajara-based side will begin their preseason for the 2024 Apertura in less than two weeks.

During Hierro's stint with Chivas, the sporting director brought in manager Veljko Paunovic, who was then replaced by Fernando Gago after Paunovic mutually parted ways with Chivas in 2023. Gago is the team's current manager.

Fran Pérez, a fellow Spaniard brought in by Hierro as a member of the Chivas front office, is in the running to take Hierro's place.

Despite their tally of 12 Liga MX titles, which puts them second all-time behind rivals Club America who have 15, Chivas have struggled in the 21st century with just one championship in the last 17 years.

Al-Nassr finished 2023-24 at second in the Saudi Pro League standings and without a title in the Saudi Cup or AFC Champions League.

Earlier this week, a brace from Ronaldo set the league's new single-season record for most goals (35) scored by a player.

Information from ESPN Mexico reporters Diego Yvey and Omar Flores was used in this report.