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Milan's Manager Merry-Go-Round: The Potential Candidates (Thus Far)

Milan have now secured European football for the third consecutive year following three seasons out. Milan will be looking to leap forward for a concrete top 4 challenge next year and need the right manager and tactics to get them there. Here’s a summary of the logical rumours to this point:

ACF Fiorentina v AC Milan - Serie A Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

AC Milan have now secured European football for the third consecutive year following three seasons out. Milan will be looking to leap forward for a concrete top 4 challenge next year and need the right manager and tactics to get them there. Here’s a summary of the logical rumours to this point:

Maurizio Sarri

Current Club: Chelsea (3rd Place, Carabao Cup Runner Up, UEL Final)

Current Wage: €5.5 million

Dominant Formation: 4-3-3

Philosophy: Sarriball. Dominant Possession. Well Organised Defence.

Sarri has experienced a bitter sweet year in London, he took a lot of criticism over the year but has emerged with a relatively good first year performance. He guided Chelsea to a tight third place finish to secure Champions League football and made it to the final of the Europa League. Despite this, there are rumours of his imminent departure for the Blues. He would be an amazing upgrade but it remains to be seen if he would agree to join Milan, given the uncertainty over European football (between FFP and UCL/UEL). Sarri is also known to want a high caliber of players who are technical, and the current Milan squad does not fit his usual bill of players.

Likelihood: 2/5

Eusebio di Francesco

Current Club: Roma (SACKED, 6th Place, UCL R16)

Current Wage: €3 million

Dominant Formation: 4-3-3

Philosophy: Counter-Attacking. Wing Play. Deep Defending.

Di Francesco took his big step up at the start of this season taking the helm at AS Roma from Sassuolo. He was fired mid-season due to a poor string of results that included a UCL exit at the hands of Porto and a league spot outside of Europe. He also struggled with the locker room and did not imprint his brand of attacking football at the Olimpico. He is an interesting choice because he is tactically similar to Milan’s past couple of managers with a 4-3-3, wing play and counter-attacks. He could potentially reinvigorate Suso and Calhanoglu as he gets the best out of wingers. He is a likely candidate as Milan would be a huge prospect for him and he is relatively more experienced and flexible than Gattuso.

Likelihood: 3/5

Simone Inzaghi

Current Club: Lazio (8th Place, UEL R32, Coppa Champions)

Current Wage: €1.3 million

Dominant Formation: 3-5-2

Philosophy: Counter-Attacking. Midfield Block. Intense Pressing.

Inzaghi has now completed his third season in charge of Lazio, he has bagged two 5th place finishes, a Super Coppa and a Coppa Italia. This season, Lazio let their UCL hopes slip and currently lie in 8th place despite already locking down Europa League qualification for the third year in a row. Inzaghi has been a top manager who has used the players at his disposal well and got Lazio to challenge the big boys of Serie A over the past few years. He would be a likely replacement if Milan grab the UCL spot as it gives them an edge of Lazio and Milan tend to have a larger budget to play around with. Inzaghi’s back-three philosophy could potentially bring Caldara into the formation and his two upfront could give Cutrone and Piatek the chance to play together.

Likelihood: 4/5

Massimiliano Allegri

Current Club: Juventus (1st Place, UCL QF)

Current Wage: €7.5 million

Dominant Formation: 4-3-2-1

Philosophy: Formation Transitioning. Double Pivot in Midfield. Defensive Minded.

Allegri has been fired by Juventus after demolishing a number of domestic records over his tenure at the club. Allegri joined Juventus from Milan to jeers but turned all that into cheers grabbing 5 consecutive Scudetti. The future for Allegri seems to lie in a hunt for the Champions League, a title that has eluded him in two final over the past few years. He has strong links shifting him abroad or to Inter, he does not seem likely to join Milan given the taste of silverware he has enjoyed and Milan’s need for a rebuilding. Moreover, Allegri constantly requests for big names but Milan are severely limited to spend in the foreseeable future.

Likelihood: 1/5

Mark van Bommel

Current Club: PSV Eindhoven (2nd Place, UCL Group Stage)

Current Wage: unknown

Dominant Formation: 4-3-3

Philosophy: Non Aggressive. Possession Central Attack. Wing Play.

Van Bommel has just completed his first season as a coach with PSV Eindhoven in the Eredivisie. He put up a valiant fight for the Dutch title eventually finishing in 2nd place despite keeping the title race open until the penultimate weekend of fixtures. His footballing style is exciting yet compact, his defensive positional play and his quick wing attacks made PSV phenomenal this season. His tactical philosophy aligns very well with Milan’s current stock of players and he has demonstrated his ability to get the best out of his players. Moreover, van Bommel has a strong personality similar to Gattuso which can be key to run the Milan locker room and rebuild the Rossoneri spirit. This move is unlikely as Bayern Munich have all-but secured his services.

Likelihood: 1/5

Gian Piero Gasperini

Current Club: Atalanta (Currently 4th Place, Coppa Runner-Up)

Current Wage: €1.4 million

Dominant Formation: 3-4-1-2

Philosophy: High Pressing. Target Man. Wing Play.

The current Serie A fan favourite. Gasperini has done wonders in Bergamo bringing a fringe mid-table side to the fore of Italian football one more than one occasion. Gasperini has been the ultimate over-performer and is currently heading for a UCL finish that would be a peak for him and the club. He has picked up a reputation of developing young talents thus aligning strongly with Milan’s ideals going forward. He has set up the likes of Petagna, Conti, Caldara, Kessie, Cristante, Castagne and Barrow. He is much loved in Bergamo by the fans and the management thus is unlikely to want to leave unless Milan can pip the UCL over Atalanta. Gasperini has a back-three ideal with strong attacking midfielders, Milan have the potential for this and he could get the best out of some of his former players.

Likelihood: 3/5

Gennaro Gattuso

Current Club: AC Milan (Currently 5th, UEL Group Stage)

Current Wage: €2 million

Dominant Formation: 4-3-3

Philosophy: Defensive Minded. Heavy Possession. Wing Play.

Gattuso is heading to the end of his second season in charge of Milan. He got Milan a Europa League qualification in his first season and has already guaranteed European football for 2019/20, the last weekend will determine whether this will be in the UCL or UEL. Gattuso initially did well to tun around the attitude of the team and bring a fighting spirit but his tactics have been negative and defensive leading to Milan blowing Cup games and tight matches in the league. One of the most frustrating observation of his tenure is the amount of games that Milan dropped points in after holding a lead. Gattuso is still likely to stay if he can secure UCL as he has a good relationship with the management and the players are strongly behind him.

Likelihood: 4/5

Poll

Who Should be Milan’s Coach Next Season?

This poll is closed

  • 29%
    Sarri
    (264 votes)
  • 4%
    di Francesco
    (39 votes)
  • 10%
    Inzaghi
    (92 votes)
  • 12%
    Allegri
    (110 votes)
  • 3%
    van Bommel
    (34 votes)
  • 18%
    Gasperini
    (168 votes)
  • 16%
    Gattuso
    (148 votes)
  • 6%
    Other (Comment Below)
    (55 votes)
910 votes total Vote Now