German football expert tells Milan to take a risk on Rangnick; explains likelihood of his arrival

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan are not likely to make Ralf Rangnick their next head coach and sporting director, according to a German football expert.

Reports from Bild earlier in the month claimed that Milan are in advanced talks with Rangnick over a dual role at the club, while L’Equipe added that a pre-agreement has been signed which would see the Diavolo punished should they withdraw.

In a period that has been littered with speculation that Maldini and Zvonomir Boban disagree with Gazidis on the running on the club, the former gave an interesting interview to Sky Italia after Saturday’s 1-1 draw against Fiorentina.

He implied that there are different visions of how Milan should look in the future among those in power, and again distanced the club from the Rangnick links, but La Gazzetta dello Sport believe he is a genuine target.

Federico Lo Giudice – sports journalist and German correspondent for Tuttosport – spoke to MilanNews to offer a background on Rangnick and whether he would be a good fit for the Rossoneri.

“He is suitable [for Italian football] because he has a great vision of football, he is one very close to the Sacchiana mentality so at Milan he could also do very well,” he said.

“But I believe that Milan will not focus on him, because in Italy there has never been a double assignment, a manager who is both the sporting director and the head coach. He is a difficult figure to conceive in Italy, but in England, for example, it is already like this: managers are coaches and they are in charge of the mercato. Like Wenger.

“It may be that Milan wants to change to a new course and therefore could give a coach the opportunity to do both roles. I do not say that it is impossible, but I do not know if it will be allowed in Italy.

“Milan has always been an avant-garde club, which has opened several cycles and started the Sacchiana era, therefore it is a club that has always supported innovations. In my opinion it would be a good choice because he is a great man and a great football expert, and above all it would be excellent because it would enhance many young people, because he goes fishing for young people.

“He usually uses a very attacking formation, the 3-4-3. It varies according to where he trained, with Schalke he changed a lot, with Leipzig he played either with 3-4-3 or with 4-3-1-2, however always very attacking systems.

“His strength is also psychological: the latest arrival at the Leipzig home, Patrick Schick, was a finished player at Roma and now he has recovered. It was Rangnick who wanted him strongly. Rangnick also strongly wanted Nagelsmann.

“I think that if Milan invests in him, it is to make a long-term project. He should be given at least two years to start learning about Italian football, settle in and structure himself with society, and work with the utmost serenity to achieve his goals.”

If he only came as a coach, could he coexist with Maldini, Boban and Massara?

“I suppose so, because if he arrives he would arrive under the express request of the sports area, with Gazidis who would certainly consult with his men for such a choice. I don’t think the Milan owner imposes such a character without having the agreement with other important figures within the club. Otherwise it would be meaningless, it would mean creating friction within the club.”

So is a further revolution possible in the AC Milan management area?

“It is true that Milan is not doing well this year, but it is also true that Milan is starting from scratch. If Maldini and Boban leave it would mean having wasted a year, but it is also true that in football we have seen these things. Rangnick is one who commands and makes decisions: he took breaks with Schalke and Leipzig for stress problems, a bit like Sacchi.

At Milan would he be better as a sporting director, as a head coach or with a double role?

“With both roles, because he is a manager and has shown he can do both. Last year, before Nagelsmann’s arrival, as an executive he sat on the Leipzig bench and held both roles. So already last year he showed he can do it.”

Tags AC Milan Ralf Rangnick