Pioli’s Exit Confirmed, His Possible Replacement Waiting As Milan Consider Former Inter Striker For Their Attack

Written By Onyeka Daniel

As expected AC Milan have officially confirmed the imminent departure of Stefano Pioli, bringing an end to his five-year spell at the club with his Scudetto win two seasons ago the highlight of his career at the club.

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The 58-year-old Italian coach took over at the Rossoneri back in October 2019, following the brief and disappointing run under Marco Giampaolo, who lost four of his first seven games in charge of the club.


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Pioli helped restore some stability to Milan and guided them to their first Scudetto in a decade in the 2021-22 campaign, getting the best out of players like Rafael Leao, Theo Hernandez and Fikayo Tomori. He also took the club to the Champions League semi-final in the 2022-23 campaign.

As announced in a statement today, Milan and Pioli have officially parted ways, with the coach leaving his post after the final game of the season against Salernitana on May 25th. The Rossoneri thanked the Italian tactician for his time in charge, saying:

“AC Milan and Stefano Pioli announce that the Mister will be departing after the end of the current season, after having been in charge of the First Team since October 2019. “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.

“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.” With his exit over and done with, attention will quickly shift towards his possible replacement and according to most reports, Paulo Fonseca seems to be the leading candidate.

But the options of Roberto De Zerbi and recently departed Chelsea coach, Mauricio Pochettino shouldn’t be ruled out either, but it looks like Fonseca is the real deal, mainly because he would reportedly agree to any possible departure in the summer and wouldn’t be too demanding during the summer transfer window for high profile targets.


In the latter stages of 2023 into the early stages of 2024, Luka Jovic shone for AC Milan and provided key goals in vital moments. However, his future is not yet decided, with the club looking at alternative options. This season, Jovic has suffered from the same syndrome that Milan have.

In some key moments, he has been exceptional, scoring for fun, and enjoying himself. Nevertheless, there have been several spells where he has not been able to produce when it has mattered. Given Olivier Giroud has been the man this year, Jovic entered the club knowing he would be second fiddle to the Frenchman, and he has been just that.

But even in his best moments, when the veteran struggled, and the Serbian often picked up the pieces, he was rarely given the chance to start games. With that in mind, there is now a decision to make this summer, with his contract expiring.

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Reports in recent months have suggested that the club are open to a new deal for him, but there may now have been a turnaround. A report from Calciomercato seems to suggests that evaluations are taking place about his future, and he could be replaced by Andrea Pinamonti, who plays for relegated side, Sassuolo.

The relegation of the Neroverdi opens an idea, powered by a lower price tag. With 11 goals this season, he clearly has the quality needed, and he would contribute to the Serie A and Champions League requirements, offering further interest from Milan. His demands are likely to be more than €2.4 million net per season, and his club value him at €10m.

But with relegation, this may be lowered. His signing wouldn’t impact on the club’s bid to find a replacement for Giroud either with Joshua Zirkzee and Serhou Guirassy the leading candidates after they were reportedly priced out of a move for Benjamin Sesko.

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