AC Milan’s chief football officer Zvonomir Boban refused to be drawn on questions that the Rossoneri wanted Luciano Spalletti as their first choice to replace Marco Giampaolo.
Milan confirmed on Tuesday that Giampaolo had been sacked as head coach after just 111 days in charge – the shortest reign of any manager in the club’s history.
Pioli arrived at Casa Milan on Wednesday morning to sign the contract to replace him, and the club confirmed his appointment via a statement on their official website.
The former Lazio, Inter and Fiorentina boss is believed to have put pen to paper on a two-year deal with Milan – which includes a couple of interesting clauses.
Boban spoke at the presentation of Pioli as the new Rossoneri coach on Wednesday morning and was put in the firing line by journalists.
“We don’t like to have a change of coach so soon that it’s a defeat for everyone,” he told reporters.
“We believe it was the right decision for the club, just as it was the right choice we made in the summer. I welcome you to Stefano, he does not arrive in a simple situation, but together we can leave this moment.
“We are sorry, we are responsible too. We must not fall, we are at the beginning, we believe that we can do important things for Milan. The fans have the right to let their thoughts be known.
“We are not the strongest team in the world, or in Italy, but we are not the team that has been seen so far.
“With Pioli we are convinced that we can see a better game and better quality than what we have seen so far.”
Luciano Spalletti appeared to be the man set to take the job, however that all stalled when it was revealed that he could not agree a severance package with Inter, where he has a contract until 2021. Boban was not keen to discuss the situation.
“I’m not talking about Spalletti, our choice was Pioli.
“It is normal for the names of so many free players to be on the list, but we focused on Pioli who is a coach who knows our club and the reality of Italian football.”
Boban recently gave an interview in the Financial Times during which he stated that owners Elliott Management have a ‘different dream’ to his vision of winning now.
Asked to explain those comments, he responded: “Even if we are managers inside we remain footballers and our goal is to win. Especially if you are at Milan.
“We must aim to improve to bring Milan back where it needs to. It is normal for us to say we want to win tomorrow, but it is quite normal for the property to have other parameters, such as Financial Fair Play, to be taken into consideration.”
The Croatian also expressed frustration at not being able to sign some more experienced players over the summer, and was probed on those statements too.
“I said what I think even today. Some experienced players would have made us comfortable, but we are convinced that we can still do much better.”
Milan fans managed to get #PioliOut to the number one trend in Italy on Twitter, but Boban isn’t worried.
“They can say what they want, I respect their thinking. I hope and hope to convince them to change their mind as soon as possible.”