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Marco Giampaolo rumored to be top choice to take over at Milan: So who he is, exactly?

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A look at the current Sampdoria manager who is the latest manager to be linked with a move to Milan

UC Sampdoria v Juventus - Serie A Photo by Paolo Rattini/Getty Images

AC Milan might have found their new manager, but it’s reportedly not going to be Simone Inzaghi. Multiple outlets in Italy are reporting that Inzaghi is going to extend his contract at Lazio, which means the whole interest in going to Milan could have just been a way to get a raise.

Instead of Inzaghi, Milan are now linked to current Sampdoria manager Marco Giampaolo. Giampaolo is now the reported first choice to take over at the San Siro from Gennaro Gattuso. He’s even rumored to be the preferred choice of Paolo Maldini. So who he is?

The 51 year-old Swiss native Giampaolo spent most of his playing career at lower league clubs in Italy before retiring a month before his 40th birthday, and has been climbing the managerial latter in Italy ever since.

Giampaolo has been manager at Sampdoria for the past three seasons, with the club finishing ninth the last two years and finishing tenth in his first year in charge of the club. Before his time at Sampdoria, Giampaolo managed one year at Empoli in the 2015-16 season. Empoli finished an extremely respectable 11th place that season. Before finding success with Empoli, Giampaolo also managed at Cagliari, Siena, Catania, Cesena, Brescia, and Cremonese.

This past year under Giampaolo, Sampdoria played almost exclusively with a 4-3-1-2 formation with an emphasis on attacking play. 36 year-old Fabio Quagliarella lead Serie A in goals under Giampaolo, and while the team finished in 9th place, they were in the running for European places until late in the season. An emphasis on attack and playing two strikers up top with an attacking midfielder in the hole behind them would be a welcome change for most Milan fans, as the team under Gattuso seemed to always put much more of an emphasis on defense and clogging the midfield using a holding 4-3-3 formation.

In terms of transfers, Giampaolo seemed to get results on a much tighter budget than what Milan is used to operating on. While the club spent $59.79 million on transfers, they received $66.20 million on player sales, with the bulk of that coming from the sale of Lucas Torreria to Arsenal for $34.20 million.

Giampaolo would not be an obvious choice to take over for Gattuso, but with the rumors of budget limits, perhaps Milan would not be in the running for any of the top managers, such as Maurizio Sarri, out on the market. Milan, however, do have a lot of young talent at the club right now and if Gianpaolo can develop them, then he might be the manager that Milan needs right now.