GdS: New coach, stadium naming rights and derby – a big day awaits for Cardinale

By Oliver Fisher -

A few days ago Gerry Cardinale was not expected to attend the derby between AC Milan and Inter, but now his presence at the game carries an extra meaning.

This morning’s edition of La Gazzetta dello Sport talks about how Cardinale is in Italy today for meetings, ones that ill make decisions. The founder of RedBird Capital will spend the day in the city and speak with Giorgio Furlani, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Geoffrey Moncada.

There is a lot to talk about but this time one topic stands out from the others: the head coach for next season, given that Stefano Pioli will take charge of his last derby tonight.

The man for the new era

Cardinale is called to participate in the decision. Furlani, Ibrahimovic and Moncada will talk to him about their ideas but his final word will be important. Cardinale is naturally not a man who deals with the sporting side, but has decided to meet the main candidates for the job.

The club have been thinking about post-Pioli era since Thursday evening and are now ready to put their plans into action, after making moves in recent weeks.

Julen Lopetegui’s situation deserves to be considered first. Cardinale has already met him and Lopetegui – with his agents and the Milan management – have discussed a multi-year agreement worth around €4m net per season.

It was a positive meeting. One of the hypotheses on the table is a two-year deal with the option for a third year. The decision does not necessarily have to be imminent but there is one variable.

West Ham have made a (rich) offer to Lopetegui and want to decide soon, let’s say at the beginning of May. Lopetegui is waiting for Milan but in short, he is free: if he is the right man, waiting makes no sense.

Other candidates exist and for this reason today could be important. Paulo Fonseca of Lille is liked and there has been discussion about him among the leadership, so he has a chance of being the next manager.

The variable, if anything, is Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The Swede has always said he wants to make Milan great again and he could try to get a big name. However, he has already obtained information on Lopetegui.

The identikit of the next coach has already been drawn: he will be a coach who is willing to develop young players and is willing to work as a team with the directors.

The stadium

On a side note, it is likely that Cardinale will also do some work on the stadium front during the day. The program agreement began in San Donato but there are decisions to be made on the external structure of the stadium, perhaps on the naming rights.

The evening, of course, risks being more delicate. Two years ago Cardinale watched the celebrations for Pioli’s Scudetto in Piazza Duomo and in September 2022 he experienced his first derby bringing Mike Pompeo, former US Secretary of State, to the stands.

Leao and Giroud played great and Milan won, as if the title celebration had never ended. ‘Pioli is on fire’ resounded in the stadium, as always.

Tonight everything will be different. No ‘Freed from desire’ and the objective is only one: to avoid entering history on the wrong side.

Tags AC Milan Gerry Cardinale

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