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Serie A giants part ways with title-winning manager after five years

Serie A giants part ways with title-winning manager after five years
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AC Milan announce that Stefano Pioli will be leaving the club at the end of the 2023-24 season following five years in charge of the Rossoneri.

Serie A powerhouses AC Milan have confirmed the departure of head coach Stefano Pioli following a successful five-year reign.

The 58-year-old took charge of the Rossoneri in October 2019 and led the San Siro giants to the Scudetto in the 2021-22 season, their 19th top-flight crown overall and first since the 2010-11 season.

Milan subsequently made it to the semi-finals of the 2022-23 Champions League, eliminating Tottenham Hotspur at the last-16 stage and defeating Napoli in the quarter-finals before suffering defeat to city rivals Inter Milan.

However, the Rossoneri failed to make it out of the group stage in the 2023-24 edition, finishing third in their section behind Borussia Dortmund and Paris Saint-Germain before bowing out to Roma in the Europa League quarters.

Nevertheless, the Rossoneri will be back at Europe's top table next year, having already sealed a second-placed finish in Serie A behind Inter ahead of their closing fixture against Salernitana on Saturday.

Pioli will not be at the San Siro helm for the 2024-25 season, though, as following months of speculation about his future, the club have announced that he will be on his way out when the campaign ends.

"AC Milan extends heartfelt thanks to Stefano Pioli and his entire staff for leading the First Team over the past five years, securing an unforgettable League title and re-establishing AC Milan's consistent presence in the top European competition." Milan said in a statement.

"Stefano's professionalism and human touch have significantly contributed to the growth of the squad, embodying the Club's core values from day one. Stefano Pioli expresses his gratitude to AC Milan for the opportunity to be part of the history of this glorious Club.

"He is deeply thankful to the ownership, management, team, staff, and everyone at Milanello and Casa Milan for their support and outstanding commitment. He also extends a special thanks to the many fans who have passionately supported AC Milan over the years, demonstrating unwavering dedication."

Ligue 1 manager 'agrees to take over from Pioli'

Milan's meeting with Salernitana on Saturday will mark Pioli's 240th and final game as manager, and the Italian boasts a record of 132 victories, 55 draws and 52 defeats from his praiseworthy spell in charge.

After drawing up a list of potential candidates to replace Pioli - including the now-unavailable Francesco Farioli and Julen Lopetegui - the Rossoneri are believed to be on the brink of hiring Lille boss Paulo Fonseca as his successor.

Fonseca - formerly of Roma - has supposedly given his approval to a three-year contract with the 19-time Serie A champions, and an official announcement should arrive in the not-so-distant future.

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