Kia Joorabchian’s influence remains strong at Reading, with Yahoo Sports claiming that he was the man responsible for bringing Alexandre Mattos to the club.
Reports emerged on Monday that Mattos, a hugely successful football executive from Brazil, is set to take on a Sporting Director/Director of Football role at the Madejski Stadium once he has received a visa.
Mattos had originally agreed to help former club Cruzeiro until he was able to move to England, but according to Globo Esporte this is no longer the case. Mattos had only been in an advisory role for four days before stepping down following the departure of vice president Pedro Lourenço, who had appointed him. He is set to start work at Reading in March.
Brazilian site Esportes wrote in January 2018 that Mattos and Joorabchian have had an “excellent relationship” since Mattos’s days at Cruzeiro (2012-2014). Meanwhile, the Iranian became involved in Palmeiras in January 2017, where Mattos was working at the time, following a meeting between the two in England, according to Globo Esporte.
Joorabchian’s impact was first felt at Reading in the summer of 2015, when he brokered signings such as Lucas Piazón, Ola John and Orlando Sá, according to Yahoo. His influence has grown since Dai Yongge and Dai Xiu Li took over as owners in 2017, and the report suggests that he is now considered Nigel Howe’s “right-hand man”.
As a result of this, it is said that Joorabchian was key in the appointment of Jose Gomes as manager in December 2018, having tried to persuade another Portuguese coach, Luis Castro, to take the job. His influence is also cited as one of the reasons for the departure of Gianluca Nani as sporting director after just four months in the role. Goalkeeper Rafael, who moved to the club last summer, is one of Joorabchian’s clients. Yahoo also claim that the businessman was present at the Madejski Stadium for the Boxing Day game with QPR, along with one of his partners, Renato Velasco, who is the agent of Everton’s Richarlison and Reading Under-23 player Werick Caetano.