GdS: Lopetegui’s Milan hopes ended by Ibrahimovic phone call – the details

By Ben Dixon -

AC Milan seemed likely to appoint Julen Lopetegui as the heir to Stefano Pioli when the 58-year-old departed the club. However, following an outcry of rejection to the Spaniard, the Rossoneri are now exploring other avenues.

Throughout the past fortnight, Milan’s search for a new head coach reached a stage of near completion, with several reports suggesting that Julen Lopetegui would be joining the club as manager. Nevertheless, we stand here with the managerial wheel still turning, albeit near its final cycle.

The reasoning? An outcry from the Rossonero sent a clear message to the management that Lopetegui was not the man, at least in their eyes, to move the club forward, and this was reinforced by the Curva Sud’s statement and protest.

Lopetegui was reportedly shocked at the reaction from the supporter base and equally as shocked about the power that the fans have over the management, where he went from the favourite to nothing in days.

The message was portrayed via phone call, Gazzetta dello Sport (via Radio Rossonera) reports, made by Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who was originally a large favourite of the Spaniard, but following fan reaction, opted for other avenues and left Lopetegui open to new adventures.

Tags AC Milan Julen Lopetegui Zlatan Ibrahimovic


  1. Milan management actively worked behind the scenes to hire the worst possible manager available.

    ask yourself why.

    There are a lot of better coaches available right now but Milan actively went for the worst one available.

    Please, ask yourself why.

    1. Lopetegui is not a bad manager, surely not the worst. On paper better than many optiones endorsed by fans like Van Bommel.
      You don‘t get to Spanish NT, Sevilla and Real if you are a bad manager.

      1. I think maybe he’s just really good at selling himself in meetings. Because his actual coaching performance at all those places have ranged from poor to mid.

        1. Yeah he only beat Inter and Conte in a Europa League final and only played a huge role in eliminating Italy from qualifying for 2018…

        2. At Real he was bad, Sevilla and NT surely not. He also has better PPG in Liga Portugal with Porto than Conceicao (not very comparable timeframes though)

          1. He has a better PPG that Conceicao with Porto but won nothing there.
            His only title is Europa League with Sevilla and every since then he only coached Wolverhampton and nobody but us seems to be interested in him.

    2. Lopey is fine.. People need to take that stick out of their behinds.. In fact he is among better coaches available.

  2. Can somebody explain to me how these esteemed journalists know what lead to our management deciding this or that? Somebody decided it was because of the fans, and now it’s a fact. We know that we speak with a lot of people for any specific position, how do we know what exactly happened? Instead of judging management for their thought process (which we have no idea about), we should judge by the end result

  3. I hope that what is written is just nonsense, because if it turns out to be true that means the management has no idea about what they’re doing.

  4. I do not believe that it was really the fans that forced the hand of management.

    What I believe is more likely is that Zlatan was never all in on Lopetegui, that he likely voiced this concern to Cardinale before fan protests, was overridden, and that it wasn’t until the fans reacted that Zalatan’s position gained more momentum.

    Nothing about Lopetegui’s history is consistent with what Zlatan is reported to value.

    That might seem like it is still about the fans, but it’s not. It is fundamentally about the factions within management. It’s much less embarrassing for all concerned, and has the added benefit of making the fans feel like they have a voice, if a fan driven revolt is blamed for the change of heart.

    I doubt Cardinale wants his ‘Hand’ to be seen to be at odds with the first major and arguably biggest decision to be made during Zlatan’s tenure. Better to blame it on the fans.

    I just have a really hard time believing that the guy whose grand plan it was to sack Maldini, given all that he had achieved, only to turn around and deliver an unknown accountant and a scout in his place, and then presided over the sale of the fan favourite Milanista/local in the heart of midfield, gives 2 s***s what the fans think.

    There is now a bit of divide and conquer at play. The options are being presented as abject mediocrity (e.g. Fonsenca) and a weird fit (e.g. Sergio C) because fundamentally management still wants a ‘yes man’ to develop players for sale.

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