AC Milan replaces Vincenzo Montella with Gennaro Gattuso

MILAN (AP) AC Milan fired Vincenzo Montella and named Gennaro Gattuso as coach Monday after the club failed to produce inspiring results with a completely revamped squad.

Milan, which spent more than 200 million euros (nearly $250 million) on new players in the offseason, has won only two of its past nine matches and has as many losses – six – as wins.

The Rossoneri have been beaten by Lazio, Roma, Inter, Juventus and Napoli – the top five teams in the standings.

The move came a day after a dispiriting 0-0 draw at home with Torino left Milan in seventh place in Serie A.

Milan tweeted Monday that it ”parted ways” with Montella and that ”management of the first team is entrusted to Gennaro Gattuso.”

A seven-time European champion, Milan is also facing financial fair play inquiries from UEFA after an offseason spending spree brought in an entire squad’s worth of new players.

There have been questions over the financial stability of the Chinese-led consortium that purchased Milan from Silvio Berlusconi for $800 million in April.

Gattuso, who had been in charge of the club’s youth squad, won the 2003 and 2007 Champions League titles with Milan as a gritty midfielder. The 39-year-old Gattuso also previously coached Sion, Palermo, OFI Crete and Pisa.

Gattuso becomes Milan’s seventh coach (including caretakers) since now-Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri was fired in January 2014.

Montella was hired in June 2016 and led Milan to a sixth-place finish and a Europa League spot last season – ending a drought of three years without playing in continental competition.

Milan opened the season by winning all four of its Europa League qualifying matches and its first two Serie A games. Then a 4-1 loss at Lazio showed how vulnerable the squad was.

Leonardo Bonucci, Italy’s top defender who was brought in from Juventus during the offseason, has had a difficult start with his new club and the big group of new players has failed to gel.

The other new players brought in were forwards Andre Silva (FC Porto) and Nikola Kalinic (Fiorentina); midfielders Ricardo Rodriguez (Wolfsburg), Franck Kessie, Andrea Conti (Atalanta), Hakan Calhanoglu (Bayer Leverkusen) and Lucas Biglia (Lazio); and defender Mateo Musacchio (Villarreal).

Gattuso’s debut will come at last-place Benevento on Sunday.

Original Article

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