Sportitalia: Potential replacement identified as rumours on Pioli’s future gather steam

By Oliver Fisher -

As we move towards the end of the season there continues to be doubts regarding the position of head coach Stefano Pioli, and it is possible his replacement is being looked at.

Sportitalia write how the season has not been entirely positive on the domestic front for Milan with the Scudetto defence basically never starting plus defeats in the Supercoppa and Coppa Italia, though there was an excellent run in the Champions League.

A few months ago, the club chose to renew Pioli’s contract until June 2025 but the source claims that it will ‘probably be goodbye at the end of the season’ as Gerry Cardinale is ‘not satisfied with his work’.

The results are a concern in themselves, but the ‘performance and squad management’ has also caused some anxiety as the signings from the last summer transfer window have not been properly integrated and the rotation poorly managed.

Cardinale ‘would like to change the coach and the chosen one seems to be Antonio Conte’ as per Sportitalia. He is currently free after leaving Spurs, and the owner of RedBird greatly appreciates the qualities of the former Inter and Juventus boss.

Conte for his part can’t wait to return to Italy and coach in Serie A again, while the idea of winning with each of the ‘big three’ – after Juventus and Inter – is something that appeals to him.

Regarding the system, the Rossoneri have already shown this season that they can play with a three-man defence, with the use of Malick Thiaw and Pierre Kalulu as central defenders. However, investment would also be needed.

Update: We received correspondence from a source close to Cardinale, stating that ‘any reports doubting or contradicting Mr Cardinale expressions of esteem and appreciation for coach Pioli are totally groundless’.

Tags AC Milan Antonio Conte


  1. Sure, we’re going to appoint a coach who always complains about money, fights with owners and can’t develop young talent.

  2. Conte is not the coach we want or need!Conte is one of the highest paid coachs in World and every transfer window wants x and y player and then after one or two season gets mad at the team and management andneed to crazy amounts of money to get rid of him!

    1. Regardless of the outcome of this season I am 100% behind Pioli.

      With Napoli’s win, Pioli is now one of only 4 managers in the whole of Serie A who has won a Scudetto.

      So who are we going to replace him with?

      A manager who hasn’t won a Scudetto?

      A manager who has never been to the Champions League semi-finals?

      A manager who has never coached these players?

      Unless we’re going to sign Guardiola or Klopp – what’s the point?

      Roma have Mourinho. One of the most successful managers in the world and he can’t even guarantee them fourth.

      Conte is an option – to burn down the project.

      This is a project. A project that is currently AHEAD of schedule. On what basis can we possibly sack the manager?

      It’s a project built around youth players. What’s the point in investing in youth if they don’t stick around to become experienced players?

      What’s the point in supporting a team that changes the whole team?

      Sure, gradual change is welcome. World class signings are welcome. But there aren’t many of them. So what’s the point in replacing a manager or player with a player or manager that is marginally better or not even proven?

      1. I think you are right. Pioli did extravagant job in champions league, he did fluke serie a, but gained a lot of money in Europe.

        Slim chances that they are sacked him.

        1. You can’t fluke titles.

          A title is the hardest thing to win in football and over the course of the season luck balances out.

          Plus Milan had league winning form for over 2 years since the end of Covid lockdown to January of this year.

      2. All of that is fine but there is a big problem in not the results, for me. The problem is how the team looks on the field game in game out.. They look bad. Very bad. Relegation lvl bad. The fact they were champions less than a season ago makes that even worse. They are not progressing anymore, they’re not growing. They are regressing and that is the worst thing that can hapen atm.
        After that really bad spell in jan and feb any manager would be fired. Pioli wasn’t. A few lucky wins in cl doesnt grant him amnesty. The team is falling apart and he does not know how to bring them back.
        Think of the coaches who are free, apart from Zidane, Enrique might be the best option.. If we wanna spend, spend wise not on Conte

        1. Yes, even when Milan won, they didn’t play well, after winning the league, Milan played badly, Milan only lost 1 important player (Kessie), but Milan lost in the supercoppa. Lost against Torino in the Copa, always lost against Inter, and are at risk of not qualifying for the Champions League next season. So that reminds me of Leicester

        2. You bare my mind, I thought I was the only one noticing we play the most absurd kind of football for the longest possible period, like there’s nothing to desire in our play.

        3. Yeah, I agree with you.
          To me, the only upgrade that will ensure smooth transitioning for Milan is Ancelloti. This does not dismiss the fact that we need key players to make the team competitive.

          1. he would be a great option. Adaptable and knows the club inside out…
            Team seems pretty competitive to me. Won serie a last season, made it to semi finales in CL this year..
            They just need someone to get them firing on all cylinders again. And ofc they need depth not dead weight, 30 players in the squad and 1/4 of that is useless. Why pay 4 players you never use? i’ll never understand that

  3. Omg no. Even Pioli haters will probably admit Conte would be a bad replacement. If we’re gonna spend that much money on a coach wages, may aswell shoot for Nagelsmann 😉

    Conte is oo expensive, too one dimensional, complains all the time and plays turgid football. Not trying to sing Pioli’s praises here but Conte isn’t a step up, his approach seems outdated.

    De Zerbi seems the fashionable choice, just bad timing he was snapped up on a free by Brighton before this summer.

  4. Keep Pioli. He made a mistake prioritising winning the champions league (which is unrealistic) over qualifying for next year’s. However it’s not his fault that our attack has been so bad. Rebic, Origi and De Ketelere just haven’t performed at all. Girouds done what you’d expect for a player his age. Diaz is only good once every 4 games. So basically our attack is Leao (who still isn’t completely consistent) Which just isn’t good enough to compete in two competitions.
    We have really missed Kessie too our defence and attack have both suffered because of losing him.
    Conte struggled with Son,Kane, Richarlison and Kulesevski so what’s he going to do with our attack. We all know already that we’re only going to sign a striker with potential and De Ketelere has shown that, that doesn’t always work.
    I’d stick with Pioli and hope our new potential signings actually show some potential this time.

  5. omg screw Conte, if anyone here advocates for him i’d love to hear any positves you have

    and dont say he wins everywher he goes, he also destabilises clubs everywhere he goes and he goes crap in CL/EL

  6. Not a very smart choise. Compleatly new system and formation means the need of a lot of new payers, and we know Milan is not Chelsea so there is no way they will make a new team in one season. It’s better to go with somone who plays 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3, so you can continue to build with what you already have. Its far more realistic. Sarri, Zidane, De Zerbi…

  7. ” source claims that it will ‘probably be goodbye at the end of the season’ as Gerry Cardinale is ‘not satisfied with his work’.”

    And why should he be? Catastrophic performances with a couple of exceptions this year. Simply not good enough.


    Conte would be a downgrade. He cannot operate without good players – if even with them. Current Milan in Conte’s hands would finish 8-10th. Even though I blame Pioli for the absolutely disgusting season I honestly cannot see a coach who would turn this team into the scudetto winning team it was.

    Either give Pioli a good RW, a good #10 and 1-2 creative midfielders and make him actually play them (and not wait 2 seasons until “they’re ready”) or get a miracle worker who can get more out of the current team. I think the former is easier than the latter.

    1. Not to mention that our best player, Leao would once again be rendered useless in Conte’s preferred 3-5-2. This season already proved that Leao needs to be out wide in a 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3. If Conte arrives it will be the end of Leao at Milan, and it will take a season of under performance and acrimony. I am totally against hiring Conte.

      If Pioli is to be replaced the club needs to bite the bullet and pay De Zerbi’s release clause. He is the next great Italian manager and plays exciting football. The fact that he has gotten Brighton (and before that Sassuolo) to perform so well bodes well for our young squad and implies that he could be that “miracle worker” that you are referring to. Thiago Motta might be another insteresting one, but he’s got links to Inter, so not sure if it would be a good fit. Surely, there are one or two others I can’t thinking of right now that would be better choices for our project than Conte.

  8. Conte is an overpaid bad choice for Milan. This doesn’t make any sense.

    If we go for a coach it would be more logical to get Naglesmann and that’s a gamble but a less risky gamble than Conte.

    Unless Cardinale plans to invest huge amounts of money into rebuilding the squad he will not get any results like Tottenham did with Conte.

    The real issue is Maldini and Massara and to be honest they are the ones that needs to be replaced.

    If they had gone for Dybala for free and use the 35m to sign Amrabat from Fiorentina to replace Kessie as well getting Kolo Muani for free instead of Origi we would have been in a better position.

    They invested poorly with money they had to spend and they were better options available.

    Renewing Ibra for another season is stupid. Same with the renewal of Giroud and making Messias loan move permanent.

    Mandzukic was a failure and yet Maldini still insists on getting old strikers that are pass their prime. Smh

    1. M&M signed half the scudetto winning squad. They are not going to be replaced after one botched transfer window. Even taking into account the money wasted on CDK, Thiaw’s value has probably tripled and Saelemaekers has improved a great deal.

    2. soot on, Maldini is a problem at Milan, maybe another role will suite him. Maldini transfer are awful, I wish that position is given to Boban.

  9. I don’t understand people obsession with Conte.
    Didn’t we just witness Milan, who can’t beat cremonesse, Empoli, salernitana, knock out his Tottenham outbof UCL. And Tottenham literally had zero opportunities to score even though they had superior offensive talent.
    He only knows how to coach 1 system and only wants players that fir that system. The players that he wants are usually older and expensive. He forced inter to break their agreement with Tonali so they can sign Vidal.
    But most importantly he is an unstable person. You could fulfill all of his demands, sign him to a 5 year contract, and 5 months later he will start crying in the media and quit for no reason. Happened at Juventus, Happened at Inter, Happened at Tottenham. Than you are stuck with players that are overpaid, old and only fit his system.
    Not to mention that he is awful in the Champions league, has hard time to get out of the group stages even though he has strong squads.
    No to Conte or coaches like Mourinho or Tuchel.
    We need an offensive minded coach who has offensive ideas. Not coaches that sit back and counter. That’s a small club strategy.
    You can’t build a project around someone who is unpredictable like Conte.

    1. Exactly. Conte had 10x better squad yet managed to score zero times against Milan who are underperforming this year. Conte definitely isn’t the answer we’re looking for.

  10. Lol Cardinale can try hire Ancelotti, Klopp, Pep, Zidane, or even the overhyped De Zerbi. But i doubt all of them can do better than Pioli with players like Rebic, Origi, CDK who can’t do jack in front of the goals.

    People always choose the easiest shortcut: blame the coach and yell to sack him without thinking the consequences and analyze that currently we only have a couple of first class players like Mike, Theo, Leao, or Bennacer while the rest are either too young and inexperienced or just useless like Bakayoko, Rebic, and Origi.

  11. Does anyone really think a an established coach like Conte (or similar) would come to Milan when we have a limited transfer budget, a wage cap and a youth policy?? LOL. They would demand 100M plus spending per year….Next

    1. Yes he would because he only cares about being in Italy and making a paycheck. He will just leave if people aren’t happy later on.

  12. Give Pioli a team that has the depth to handle multiple competitions and he will handle it. The expectations of him are ridiculous. Add in the fact that they took Kessie away from him and gave him CDK and its bizarre we even made it to the CL semi final.

  13. Conte is all wrong for AC Milan. We need a young and modern coach who is good with young players and has a brain for tactics. Julian Nagelsmann!!!

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