Vincenzo Montella has been relieved of his duties as AC Milan manager, with the club’s former midfielder Gennaro Gattuso immediately installed as his replacement.
The club’s official Twitter account confirmed on Monday that Montella had been sacked:
Former Fiorentina and Sampdoria coach Montella took over at the San Siro in June 2016 and replaced Cristian Brocchi at the helm, leading the club to a sixth-placed league finish and their return to European football.
This term has not gone well, though. Pressure mounted on Montella after suffering back-to-back 2-0 defeats against former clubs AS Roma and Sampdoria, and Milan were nine points off Serie A leaders Napoli after only seven matches.
The team have failed to find any consistency since, and after a disappointing 0-0 draw at home to Torino on Sunday, they find themselves down in seventh position in the table. It was the final straw for the Rossoneri hierarchy.
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That disappointment came despite Milan embarking upon a summer of heavy spending following the arrival of their new Chinese owners earlier in 2017.
Montella brought in a wealth of new faces and was expected to compete for the Scudetto crown after signing the likes of Leonardo Bonucci, Andre Silva and Hakan Calhanoglu, to name a few of the new arrivals. It’s not not quite the standard the club’s board might have expected after spending more than £150 million on new players in the summer.
Milan wasted no time in finding a replacement in the form of Gattuso, who has stepped up from the Milan Primavera setup to take over first-team duties.
As a player the Italian was extremely popular among the Milan fans, as he turned in many a memorable display during his 14 years at the football club. Gattuso was renowned for his energy and aggression at the hub of the side.
He was a leader for the team too and central to their success in a memorable spell in the club’s history. Gattuso helped Milan to two Serie A titles and two UEFA Champions League wins. The midfielder was also part of the Italy team that won the FIFA World Cup in 2006.