GdS: ‘Goodbye Pioli’ – four main candidates top list of potential replacements

By Oliver Fisher -

Stefano Pioli’s time at AC Milan is drawing to a close, and now the leadership are beginning to think about who will be his successor.

This morning’s edition of La Gazzetta dello Sport (seen below) confirms that at the end of the season, barring any unexpected surprises, Pioli will conclude his time with the Rossoneri. Even if he were to triumph in the derby, it feels like the decision has been made.

The club’s disappointment at the defeat at the Olimpico in Rome led to an initial assessment: in mid-April Milan no longer had any ambitions or trophy targets, something that goes against what the ownership want.

The league stopped being an objective a long time ago and Inter’s imminent Scudetto prevails over the joy of Champions League qualification. The Coppa Italia campaign ended in the quarter-final, the UCL exit came in the group stage and then the Europa League knockout arrived most recently,

It is not acceptable for the club and for Gerry Cardinale (expected at the derby but developments have taken away the certainty of his presence). Hence the need to change course, and the study phase of finding a new coach has already begun.

An international profile

Milan are looking for an international coach, with a recognisable style of play, who is good at working with young players, in line with the club’s project: ambition but also sustainability and with 20-year-olds to develop.

The management have already moved in recent months to obtain information on two candidates: Julen Lopetegui, now out of action after his experience at Wolverhampton, and Paulo Fonseca, formerly of Roma, now at Lille.

There were dialogues, via telephone and beyond. With Lopetegui, also very recent. Furthermore, Christophe Galtier, now at Al-Duhail (Qatar) after his experience at PSG, and Marcelo Gallardo, a River legend now at Al-Ittihad (Arabia), should not be overlooked.

The four candidates – the former two more than the latter two – remain in the minds of Giorgio Furlani and Geoffrey Moncada, who guided Milan’s choices in the last year and are still the men who will make the big calls.

The Z factor

Ibrahimovic, however, has Cardinale’s total trust and the final decision will pass through him. The meetings with Furlani and Moncada will be fundamental, considering that Ibra has always said he wants to see (and therefore rebuild) a great Milan, worthy of its noble past.

Will he give his total approval to Lopetegui or Fonseca? Of course, focusing on a coach with a heavy CV is difficult because many are busy and some are against with the corporate logic that envisages a young Milan.

Furthermore, today there are more attractive leagues than Serie A. Speaking of big names, Antonio Conte is not a concrete option at the moment. Conte is very attracted to the idea of coaching Milan but for now the club has oriented itself towards different profiles.

This is probably considering the fact that the coach in the past has asked to work with ready-made stars with big salaries and the way he left both Juventus and Inter caused a fire.

One thing is for sure: the Pioli era is coming to a close, so now the leadership can get to work making sure they pick the right man to replace someone who will forever remain in the record books.

Tags AC Milan Christophe Galtier Julen Lopetegui Marcelo Gallardo Paulo Fonseca Stefano Pioli


  1. An awful take from the management if true.

    Which recent international coach had success with Seria A club either domestically or in CL?

  2. Not for a minute do I think Milan are seriously interested in any of these coaches. Motta and Italiano are the best options right now. If the Primavera win the UEFA Youth League, I expect Abate will become the first team coach.

      1. Yep – Motta could be as well. We’re venturing into the unknown here but I 100% agree we need a change – I’m just not exactly jazzed by any of the names being thrown around.

        1. As opposed to Italiano, who has now been around for a while and can’t seem to get Fiorentina out of second gear, Motta has Bologna in the CL spots, and with 5 Italian clubs qualifying next season, it’s almost certain they’re in. Meanwhile, Italiano with a better squad still can’t qualify for the CL even with the additional spot for Serie A. It’s still early days for Motta. It’s still to be seen if he’s the real deal, but if I had to choose between the two, I know what choice I’d make.

          1. Hello all
            I think Milan should go for current Bayern Munich coach Thomas Tuchel.
            He build team with young players and he’s capable of building Milan through

      2. I also completely agree. He used to be a rising star, but it’s clear he’s limited. Even Napoli doesn’t seem to be considering him.

  3. Klopp would be the dream.
    As emergency, Conte for a season would give the players some balls.
    Although with these owners Abate is most realistic 😂…

  4. So it was decided long before this defeat against Roma that we will not continue with Pioli. Probably when we exited the Champions league. Would be nice if people will behave well and don’t start celebration this like we won the Champions League or something. Anyway, that doesn’t really matter, it’s time to see what kind of manager we are looking at. From all the names mentioned till now the only one that looks exciting is Sérgio Conceição.

    1. We were always more of a European club rather than a serie A club, except with Capello.
      With Ancelotti we won more UCLs than scudettis ! anw with Madrid he is currently at 2 UCLs and one la Liga (the second one shouldn’t take too much time).

  5. So we have to choose.
    1. Failed at Porto, Real, Sevilla and Wolves.
    Success Spain U21
    2. Failed ar Porto, Roma, Lille?
    Success – Shakhtar.

    They should have sucked Pioli a month or two ago and signed Abate as interim until end of season and look at his results. If successful let him carry on if not find a someone who can win

    1. How can you say lopetegui failed at all clubs he coached, it seems you know little about football. Try to investigate before writing your comment

      1. He failed at his two last jobs. In Real and Wolfs. He had some success in Sevila. Motta has higher winning rate than him with weaker team.

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