GdS: ‘Final yes is missing’ – where the Lopetegui-Milan situation stands

By Oliver Fisher -

Julen Lopetegui is ready and willing to take over at AC Milan, but a report has claimed that the final approval of owner Gerry Cardinale is still missing at the moment.

According to what is being reported by La Gazzetta dello Sport (seen below), Lopetegui has been in Asteasu since Friday, a small village in the Basque Country where he was born and where his father – who is 94 years old – is currently residing.

Mr. José Antonio was mayor of Asteasu but above all he became famous as a champion of harri-jasotze, stone lifting which is very popular in the area.

Julen is experiencing quite a rocky moment, because he is absolutely ready to start a new challenge at Milan but once the news emerged, a petition against his hiring has reached 8,000 signatures.

The memories

Lopetegui has already been through the storm with Spain and Real Madrid and no, it didn’t end well. To the point that even today the management of the crisis is one of the strong arguments of the many fans who do not consider him worthy of the Milan bench.

Yet, Italy has always brought good memories for him. When Lopetegui has faced Italian teams in his career he has never lost, winning an U21 European Championship against the Azzurri and a Europa League against Conte’s Inter.

He has always or almost always won, from Francesco Rocca’s Under 20 days to the senior national team. Milan potentially also thought of him for this reason.

The situation

Not only did Milan think about him, but the management actually chose him as the designated coach for next season. Lopetegui is in pole position and has an agreement in principle with Milan for a three-year contract worth €4m net per season, more or less the same as Pioli’s contract.

The long duration makes it clear that the club and coach discussed a project together, not just a season. It is not yet time for shared choices but a path has been traced and the week that has just begun will be fundamental, probably decisive.

It will not be decisive for the announcement, which in any case will come at the end of the season, but for the decision regarding whether he arrives at the club.

In recent days, Milan have also evaluated alternative candidates, Paulo Fonseca and Roberto De Zerbi above all, but will soon have to let Lopetegui know if their preference is confirmed.

Champions League locked in

West Ham, not by chance, are a hypothesis in the background. Lopetegui made it known to the English club that he has chosen Milan and there is no turning back from here. If anything, in his mind, it’s time to think about the future with Milan.

Pioli yesterday achieved his fourth consecutive Champions League qualification: whenever he started a season, he always ended it with the Rossoneri in the top European competition. Once second, once first, then last season fifth before Juve’s deducation.

Roma’s draw against Napoli yesterday makes it impossible for the Giallorossi and Atalanta to overtake, who will meet on 12 May. It means that Milan is sure to finish at least fifth and have a place in the 2024-25 Champions League, the first with the new format. Much more realistically, Milan will finish second, largely in line with the club’s requests.

Parla Italiano

Lopetegui can already plan for his arrival at Milan from July, in the hope that there will be no surprises. He speaks English, French, Portuguese and a little Italian, which could come in handy soon.

The ambition is to speak it very well as early as the summer, and among the projects for next season we return to the starting point: to his family.

During his season at Wolverhampton, Daniel Lopetegui – born in 1997, the son of Julen – also worked on the staff. Milan, as with Pioli, could have a father-son duo at Milanello.

Tags AC Milan Julen Lopetegui


  1. I am not convinced of De Zerbi, he has not been doing well with Brighton this season. As a Spaniard, I am not a big fan of Lopetegui, especially with his whole Fiasco pre-2018 World Cup with Spain and Real Madrid. He doesn’t convince me and I don’t see him doing much better than Pioli. Don’t we want someone who will get us titles? Who out there of available coaches are proven winners? I have a bad feeling we will just be stuck with another boring top-4 finish (at best!) cycle with no trophies.

    1. Brighton is a small club, its over achieving when they compete for european places, this season they were in europe until the knockout stages, they missed some key players for many games eg mitoma estupinan enciso and when a small club misses 2/3 key players its a different story, that is after they sold their key players from last season,, then de zerbi has been having a friction with the owners about the composition of the squad and european engagements, he seems not interested anymore, and he has refused to verbally commit that he will be around next season, you cant just look at brighton’s current league position and conclude that de zerbi is trash, de zerbi is going to land a big job, though chances are it wont be at milan, his development is way ahead of most young coaches, what he achieved at brighton will be hard to recreate, a small team with a small budget winning whilst entertaining, for me he is one of the big prospects with a big character, which will threaten a lot of small football directors at milan, ofcourse this season a few more guys emerged, but he is still up there

  2. This is a win-win sign I would say.

    If he succeeds, fans win, if he fails, Cardinale will probably have to sell the club as he looses fans completely.

    When he fired Maldini and Massara, I was happy and was expecting them to sign someone better, but we ended up with FURLANI, now we are happy that Pioli is going because we are waiting for someone better… Aaaand we are getting another gamble.

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