Soccer-Diaz returns to Al Hilal as Jardim leaves by mutual consent

(Reuters) - Asian champions Al Hilal have replaced Leonardo Jardim with Ramon Diaz after the Saudi Arabian side announced the former Monaco coach was leaving the club by mutual consent.

Jardim, who led the club to a record fourth Asian Champions League title in November, left the Riyadh-based outfit after a 4-0 loss against Egypt's Al Ahly in the third place playoff at the FIFA Club World Cup in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.

"The board of directors of Al Hilal club, chaired by Mr Fahad bin Saad bin Nafel, has decided to sign a mutual termination agreement with the Portuguese technical manager of Al Hilal, Leonardo Jardim," the club said on social media.

Argentinian coach Diaz returns to Al Hilal for a second stint, having previously led the team from 2016 to 2018.

During that spell he steered Al Hilal to the Asian Champions League final in 2017, where they lost to Japan's Urawa Red Diamonds.

Al Hilal, who are currently fourth in the Saudi Professional League standings, won the domestic title under Diaz in 2017.

(Reporting by Michael Church in Hong Kong; Editing by Tom Hogue)

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