AC Milan Set To Sack Coach Giampaolo – Reports

Marco Giampaolo, head coach of AC Milan, during the Serie A football match between Torino FC and AC Milan at Olympic Grande Torino Stadium on September 26, 2019 in Turin, Italy.
Torino won 2-1 over Milan.  Massimiliano Ferraro/NurPhoto

 

AC Milan are set to sack coach Marco Giampaolo after a dreadful start to the season, according to multiple reports in Italy on Tuesday.

The former European giants are 13th in Serie A — three points above the relegation zone.

Giampaolo, 52, replaced Gennaro Gattuso during the summer, but the former Sampdoria boss has suffered four defeats in his first seven games, including a 2-0 loss to city rivals Inter.

Milan went on to lose their next two matches against Torino and Fiorentina before last weekend’s 2-1 victory at Genoa.

Former Inter Milan coach Luciano Spalletti is the 18-time Italian champions’ first choice to replace Giampaolo, according to Gazzetta Dello Sport and Sky Sport Italia.

However, the 60-year-old has not been able to agree severance terms with Inter, who he guided back to the Champions League the past two seasons, and remains under contract until 2021, despite being replaced by Antonio Conte.

Former Inter and Fiorentina coach Stefano Pioli is now reported to be the favourite to take over the former seven-time European champions, who won their last title in Serie A in 2011.

Pioli previously coached Inter during the 2016-17 campaign and has reportedly been in the running to take over at struggling Genoa.

Former Roma and Marseille manager Rudi Garcia has also been touted among the possible candidates.

AC Milan finished fifth last season but lost their Europa League berth after accepting a European ban for breaching financial fair play rules.

AFP

James Stars As United Beat Milan

Manchester United’s Daniel James (L) celebrates with teammates after he scores the winning penalty during the 2019 International Champions Cup football match between Manchester United and A C Milan at the Principality Stadium, Cardiff on August 3, 2019. GEOFF CADDICK / AFP

 

 

Daniel James converted the winning penalty in a shootout to give Manchester United victory over AC Milan and six wins in as many pre-season matches on Saturday.

The 21-year-old Wales international — who signed from second tier Swansea in the close season — sealed victory after David de Gea had saved a spot kick from Daniel Maldini, son of legend Milan and Italy Paolo.

United’s 5-4 victory — their other five victories have included beating Tottenham Hotspur and Inter Milan — in the shootout came after the match ended 2-2 but was not enough for them to win the International Champions Cup with the honours going to Portuguese side Benfica instead.

“It’s amazing. Today was a difficult test but it showed the spirit to come from behind,” James told MUTV.

“To score that last penalty, especially here in Cardiff, is very special.

“The boys have been great with me, great to get away on pre-season, everyone has been amazing with me. Next week is another test.

“Chelsea (their opening Premier League match next weekend) will be a strong game but we’ve shown what we’re capable of with six wins out of six.”

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The English side’s triumph came despite the absences of Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku, who is expected to leave the club with a potential swap deal with Argentinian Paulo Dybala from Juventus in the pipeline, and France’s World Cup winning midfielder Paul Pogba.

Pogba purportedly missed the trip to Wales with a back injury although the Daily Mirror on Saturday claimed he had sought to seal a move away to Real Madrid by not travelling with the squad.

However United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had played down those rumours before the match saying: “I think he’ll be available early next week.”

United took the lead when Marcus Rashford opened the scoring with a delightful individual effort, dancing through two rather feeble efforts at tackles before his shot took a deflection off Milan skipper Alessio Romagnoli.

The visitors levelled in the 25th minute, Suso — who had gone close minutes before — scoring a lovely goal curling it into the net from outside the penalty area.

De Gea denied Suso, who had an unsuccessful three year spell at Liverpool from 2012-15, a second seven minutes before the break as he reacted brilliantly to deny the Spanish international midfielder.

De Gea also had to be alert to prevent Milan going ahead a few minutes later getting a hand to Krzysztof Piatek’s lob.

Suso was at the heart of the goal that gave Milan the lead on the hour mark, his cross being flicked on by Samu Castillejo which hit United central defender Victor Lindelof’s head and went into the net.

United struck back, though, to level as substitute Jesse Lingard’s shot beat former Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina with 18 minutes remaining.

AC Milan Accept Ban From European Football

A file photo taken on September 10, 2006 shows the AC Milan’ logo before their Serie A football match AC Milan vs Lazio, in Milan. AC Milan,/AFP

 

AC Milan confirmed on Friday that they have accepted a voluntary ban from European football for next season over breaches of financial fair play rules.

European football’s governing body UEFA had accused the club of violating financial fair play (FFP) regulations over the past three seasons and the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on Friday ruled in their favour.

“AC Milan is excluded from participating in UEFA club competitions of the sporting season 2019/2020 as a consequence of the breach of its FFP break-even obligations” for the past three seasons, the court ruled.

UEFA initially found the Italian giants, who had qualified for the Europa League next season, guilty in June last year of violating financial rules which broadly limit club expenditure to club income in any given year.

However, CAS referred the matter back to UEFA judging that an European ban was disproportionate.

Ultimately UEFA action against the club was suspended pending the outcome of arbitration, resulting in Friday’s decision following agreement between UEFA, the club and CAS.

READ ALSO: UEFA Ban AC Milan From European Football

The announcement follows the club’s adoption of spending curbs in recent months designed to return its finances to a better state and which saw the departure of coach Gennaro Gattuso.

The Serie A giants, who missed out on a Champions League spot by one point to city rivals Inter, are one of several clubs, including Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City, to have been investigated for breaching UEFA’s rules, whereby clubs cannot spend more than they generate by their own means.

AC Milan have fallen foul of UEFA’s financial rules since they spent 200 million euros ($225 million) on transfers in the summer of 2017.

The club insist however that their finances should improve under American hedge fund Elliott Management Corporation, who took control last summer when former Chinese owner Li Yonghong defaulted on the loan he had taken to buy the club in 2017 from former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi.

– Act as a stimulus –
AC Milan confirmed their “voluntary acceptance” of the ban for breaches in the three-year periods 2014-2017 and 2015-2018 and said they hoped it would “act as a stimulus” to bring them back to the top.

“The current shareholder took ownership of the club in July 2018, inheriting substantial accumulated losses after the previous owner of AC Milan defaulted on debt obligations,” the club said in a statement on Friday.

“These losses and the associated violation of FFP rules, as a consequence of actions taken under previous ownership, led to sanctions by UEFA.

“Whilst saddened by the fact that our fans will not be able to see their team compete in European competition next season, the club recognises and respects FFP.

“The club acknowledges it has no other choice but to accept the sanctions, as it seeks to forge a pathway back to full compliance.

“AC Milan remains committed to restoring the club to its rightful place at the top of European football.

“Today’s ruling will act as a stimulus to maximise the efforts to become fully compliant with FFP, while at the same time consolidating the competitiveness of the club, and returning AC Milan to sustainability and a more positive future.”

The club, which will be coached next season by former Sampdoria boss Marco Giampaolo, won their seventh Champions League title in 2007 and their 18th Serie A crown in 2011.

UEFA Ban AC Milan From European Football

A file photo taken on September 10, 2006 shows the AC Milan’ logo before their Serie A football match AC Milan vs Lazio, in Milan. AC Milan,/AFP

 

AC Milan is banned from European football next season over breaches of financial fair play rules, CAS announced Friday.

European football’s governing body UEFA had accused the club of violating financial fair play (FFP) regulations over the past three seasons and the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled in their favour.

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“AC Milan is excluded from participating in UEFA club competitions of the sporting season 2019/2020 as a consequence of the breach of its FFP break-even obligations” for the past three seasons, the court ruled.

Milan Keeps Champions League Hopes Alive After Bologna Win

AC Milan’s Italian forward Fabio Borini (R) celebrates with teammates after scoring during the Italian Serie A football match AC Milan vs Bologna on May 6, 2019 at the San Siro stadium in Milan.
Miguel MEDINA / AFP

 

AC Milan revived their Champions League hopes with a 2-1 win over Bologna on Monday as tempers flared with three players sent off and a bust-up between French midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko and coach Gennaro Gattuso on the sidelines.

Gattuso’s side moves back into fifth place, three points behind Atalanta who occupy the final Champions League berth with three games left to play this season.

Milan had dropped out of the European places after a draw against Parma and loss to Torino but now move level on points with Roma who are sixth.

Champions Juventus and second-placed Napoli are already assured of Champions League football next season but the battle for the final two berths remains tight with Inter Milan on 63 points, followed by Atalanta (62), AC Milan (59), Roma (59) and Torino (57).

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Spanish winger Suso opened for Milan on 37 minutes with the game springing to life in the second half with Fabio Borini tapping in the second on 67 minutes.

Bologna’s Mattia Destro pulled one back on 72 minutes, with Milan playing the final quarter of an hour a man down after midfielder Lucas Paquetá was sent off for arguing with the referee.

In a nervy finale, Bologna finished the game with nine men with Nicola Sansone and Mitchell Dijks both sent off late.

There was also pitchside drama early when Argentine midfielder Lucas Biglia picked up an injury 25 minutes into the game at the San Siro with the Milan coach asking on-loan Chelsea player Bakayoko to start warming up.

Bakayoko — on the bench after arriving late for training — started to warm up without enthusiasm to the fury of Gattuso who instead asked another substitute, José Mauri, to come on.

Gattuso and Bakayoko were caught on camera exchanging insults with the French player saying twice “Fuck off, man” and the coach replying “I’ll see you later”.

Bakayoko joined the club on loan from Chelsea last summer with an option to buy but has been the subject of racist chanting this season several times notably from Lazio supporters.

AFP

AC Milan Fined 86,000 Euros For Acerbi’s Jersey Prank

AC Milan’s Ivorian midfielder Franck Kessie and AC Milan’s French midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko hold the jersey of Lazio’s Italian defender Francesco Acerbi at the end of the Italian Serie A football match AC Milan vs Lazio Rome on April 13, 2019 at the San Siro stadium in Milan. Miguel MEDINA / AFP

 

 

AC Milan and the Serie A club’s players Tiemoue Bakayoko and Franck Kessie have been fined a total of 86,000 euros ($97,000) for holding up Lazio defender Francesco Acerbi’s shirt like a trophy after Saturday’s 1-0 win over their Champions League rivals, according to Italian media.

Milan agreed with the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) on a payment of 86,000 euros — 33,000 euros per player and 20,000 euros for the club, Gazzetta Dello Sport and Sky Sport Italia reported.

The fine was cut by a third as AC Milan agreed to pay it immediately.

Acerbi had angered the Milan pair when he said there was “no comparison” between the teams before the game.

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He said swapped his shirt with on-loan Chelsea midfielder Bakayoko “to put an end to the issue” but was furious when they held it aloft on front of Milan’s fans afterwards.

Both apologised with the Ivorian Kessie, whose penalty sealed the win, insisting it was “just a joke, nothing more”.

The match finished with scuffles on the pitch, with the two teams to meet again in the Coppa Italia semi-final on April 24 in the San Siro.

“A lot is being said about this incident, we got it wrong and have apologised. We can’t do any more than this,” Milan coach Gennaro Gattuso told reporters on Friday.

Meanwhile, a video of racist chants targeting Frenchman Bakayoko by a small group of Lazio fans during Wednesday night’s 2-0 win over Udinese has circulated on social media.

Lazio fans can be heard in the video singing: “This banana is for Bakayoko”.

The FIGC have decided not to open an investigation into the matter, according to reports.

AFP

AC Milan’s Higuain Poised For Chelsea Move – Report

Gonzalo Higuain. Credit: @BBCSport

 

AC Milan striker Gonzalo Higuain has “agreed to terms” and is set for an imminent move to Premier League club Chelsea, Italian sports daily Gazzetta Dello Sport reported on Wednesday.

Higuain joined Milan on a season-long loan from Juventus in July with an option to buy but has struggled to settle at the San Siro, scoring eight goals in all competitions.

And the 31-year-old Argentina international wants to join former Napoli coach Maurizio Sarri at the English club which would take over his 36 million euro ($41 million) buy-out clause.

“Chelsea have an agreement with Higuain to take him immediately,” Gazzetta reported.

Higuain had his most successful season under Sarri, breaking the Serie A goalscoring record with 36 goals in the 2015/16 campaign.

He scored 91 goals during his three years at the club before moving to Juventus in 2016 on a 90 million euro deal.

He previously spent six years at Real Madrid before starting his career at River Plate in Argentina.

Higuain had been hampered by a back injury earlier in the season but broke his two-month goal-scoring drought before the winter break.

Milan’s sporting director Leonardo, however, warned on Tuesday he had to get down to work.

“He had a tough moment, he has to put it behind him and get to work,” said Leonardo.

“A goal can change things, but if he is to continue here, he needs to take on responsibility.”

Brazilian Leonardo added: “There’s no point following rumours and gossip.

“He is here right now. Seeing as he is here, he needs to get down and actually do something for this team.”

AFP

AC Milan Risk Ban Over FFP Breaches, Says UEFA

AC Milan’s players celebrate after scoring during their UEFA Europa league match Olympiacos FC and AC Milan at the Karaiskaki stadium in Piraeus on December 13, 2018. ARIS MESSINIS / AFP

 

AC Milan risk being excluded from European competition in the coming seasons if the club fails to “break even” after falling foul of Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations, UEFA announced on Friday.

The Serie A giants are one of several clubs to have been investigated for breaching UEFA’s rules — which state clubs can not spend more than they generate by their own means.

After winning an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) earlier this year, following a UEFA ban from the Europa League due to breaching FFP regulations, Milan crashed out of the competition on Thursday after a 3-1 defeat at Olympiakos.

UEFA said Friday the former seven-time European champions again face suspension from continental competition in future seasons “should the club not be break-even compliant at 30 June 2021”.

A UEFA statement added: “Accordingly, should the club not be break-even compliant at 30 June 2021, it will be excluded from participating in the next UEFA club competition for which it would otherwise qualify, in the two seasons 2022/23 and 2023/24.

“The club will also have 12m euros of its UEFA revenues from the 2018/19 UEFA Europa League withheld and will not be permitted to register more than 21 players for participation in UEFA competitions in the 2019/20 and 2020/21 seasons.”

UEFA said Milan had the right to appeal both decisions “to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, in accordance with …. rules governing the UEFA Club Financial Control Body”.

AFP

Brazil’s Paqueta Arrives At AC Milan Ahead Of Record Transfer

Lucas Paqueta

Brazilian midfielder Lucas Paqueta has arrived in Italy ahead of completing a record transfer move to AC Milan, Italian media reported on Sunday.

“I’m very happy to be here, I chose Milan because of their history,” Paqueta told journalists at the airport.

The Serie A giants are reported to have agreed a 35 million euro ($40.4 million) deal with Flamengo – the club Paqueta joined as a ten-year-old – in what would be the most expensive signing of a Brazilian by an Italian club.

Paqueta scored 10 goals to help Flamengo finish second in the Brazilian championship which has just ended and bid a tearful farewell after his last game at the Maracana Stadium.

“I will be eternally grateful to this club,” said the 21-year-old, who is hoping to follow in the footsteps of former Brazilian stars Kaka and Leonardo who made their names at AC Milan.

Leonardo — now AC Milan’s sporting director — pushed through the move with Flamengo receiving 70 percent of the 35 million euros transfer fee and the remainder to be divided between the player and the Brazilian federation.

Paqueta, who has two caps for Brazil and can play both midfield and as a forward, is reported to have agreed a five-year deal worth 1.5 million euro ($1.7 million) per season.

He will be in the stands for Sunday evening’s Serie A game against Torino in the San Siro and will undergo a medical early next week.

Gennaro Gattuso’s Milan are fourth in Serie A and can pull within a point of third-placed city rivals Inter Milan with a win against Torino.

AFP

AC Milan Fight Back To Beat Parma, Climb Fourth

AC Milan Fight Back To Beat Parma, Climb Fourth
AC Milan’s players celebrate after scoring a penalty during the Italian Serie A football match AC Milan vs Parma on Decembre 2, 2018 at the San Siro stadium in Milan. Miguel MEDINA / AFP

 

AC Milan got back to winning ways with second-half goals from Patrick Cutrone and Franck Kessie sealing a come-from-behind 2-1 win over promoted Parma on Sunday.

Gennaro Gattuso’s side fell 2-0 to Juventus and were held 1-1 by Lazio in their previous two league games but move fourth two points ahead of the Romans who travel to bottom club Chievo later on Sunday.

It was a hard-fought victory for Milan days after competing in the Europa League with a number of players missing including suspended Argentine forward Gonzalo Higuain.

“It’s an important victory and a great success,” said Cutrone. “It’s not easy to fight back for the win.”

Roberto Inglese nodded in his fourth goal this season for Parma five minutes after the break, off a corner but Milan pulled one back six minutes later with Cutrone volleying in.

Kessie slotted in Milan’s second from the spot on 71 minutes after Alessandro Bastoni was deemed after consultation with VAR to have handled the ball.

“It’s disappointing to come home with zero points despite having played a good match,” said Parma coach Roberto D’Aversa, whose side had come into the game on a run of consecutive wins.

Parma remain sixth and are now five points off AC Milan who occupy in the final Champions League berth.

Champions Juventus pulled 11 points clear on Saturday with a 3-0 win at Fiorentina, with Cristiano Ronaldo converting a penalty for his tenth goal in 14 games, to move joint top of the Serie A scores.

Later Sunday, Inter Milan, a point Napoli in third, will look to pile the pressure on Roma who have dropped to seventh.

Second-placed Napoli travel to Atalanta on Monday.

AFP

Ronaldo Keeps Juve Flying High With ‘Important’ Win Over AC Milan

Juventus’ Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo (L) celebrates with Juventus’ French midfielder Blaise Matuidi after opening the scoring during the UEFA Champions League group H football match Juventus vs Manchester United at the Allianz stadium in Turin on November 7, 2018.
Isabella BONOTTO / AFP

 

Cristiano Ronaldo scored as Juventus bounced back from their midweek Champions League defeat by Manchester United with a 2-0 win over 10-man AC Milan in Serie A on Sunday, as Gonzalo Higuain missed a penalty before being sent off for the hosts.

Mario Mandzukic headed in the opener in the eighth minute at the San Siro with Ronaldo adding a second on 81 minutes as Juventus maintained their six-point cushion ahead of the international break.

It got the defending seven-time Serie A champions back on track after suffering their first defeat of the season by United following two late goals despite Ronaldo’s stunning volley.

“Winning tonight was the only way to put aside what happened in the final five minutes of the Champions League game,” said Juve coach Massimiliano Allegri.

“It was important to win without conceding a goal and to regain the six-point advantage over Napoli who are having an excellent championship.”

A third loss of the campaign, however, saw AC Milan drop out of the Champions League places behind Lazio who moved back into fourth despite a 1-1 draw at Sassuolo.

Inter Milan’s seven-match winning streak ended with a 4-1 defeat at Atalanta, with Luciano Spalletti’s side losing second place to Napoli who came from behind to beat Genoa 2-1 on Saturday.

Juventus have 34 points from 12 games — six ahead of Carlo Ancelotti’s Napoli with Inter a further three behind.

“I’m very happy, especially for the team, because playing away to Milan is always very difficult,” said Ronaldo.

“It was important to win, because Napoli beat Genoa last night and we had to keep our distance.”

Allegri’s side rarely looked threatened by AC Milan with Mandzukic rising highest to nod in an Alex Sandro cross to dampen spirits among the 75,000-capacity crowd at the San Siro.

The Croatian World Cup runner-up could have made it two shortly after, meeting across this time from Ronaldo but Milan skipper Alessio Romagnoli blocked.

Higuain returned from a back problem to face his parent club but it was to be a nightmare outing for the forward who had been loaned out to Milan last summer to make space for Ronaldo.

The Argentine missed a penalty awarded after Medhi Benatia handled in the area five minutes before the break with Juventus goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny tipping the ball onto the post.

Ronaldo tested Gianluigi Donnarumma in the AC Milan goal early in the second half before finally blasting in nine minutes from time for his first goal at the San Siro.

Minutes later Higuain saw red after shouting at the referee in frustration after a foul on Benatia, and was led off the pitch in tears.

“I told him not to exaggerate, to calm down and not to risk a major penalty,” said Ronaldo of what he told Higuain on the pitch.

“He was nervous, he was losing, but we must not blame him, he didn’t say anything.”

Inter stumble 

Earlier on Sunday, defender Gianluca Mancini scored for a third consecutive game as Atalanta dominated Inter Milan at home in Bergamo.

Mancini headed home in the 62nd minute to add to Hans Hateboer’s eighth-minute opener, with Berat Djimsiti and Alejandro Gomez sealing all three points for the hosts late on.

Inter captain Mauro Icardi had equalised when he slotted in a penalty just after the break, but his side finished with ten men after Marcelo Brozovic was sent off two minutes into injury time.

Roma got back to winning ways with a 4-1 success over Sampdoria to move up to sixth, within three points of the Champions League places behind Lazio and AC Milan.

Rock-bottom Chievo earned a 2-2 draw at home against Bologna to move onto zero points, having had three deducted for false accounting.

But coach Gian Piero Ventura told players he was quitting after the game, as he did not believe he could save them from relegation.

Elsewhere, Empoli got their first win since the opening match of the season, beating fellow strugglers Udinese 2-1, who they joined on nine points.

AFP

AC Milan Confirm Paqueta Deal

Lucas Paqueta

 

AC Milan have reached agreement to sign rising Brazilian star Lucas Paqueta with Swedish veteran Zlatan Ibrahimovic a possibility to return to Italy, club sporting director Leonardo said on Thursday.

The Serie A giants are reported to have agreed a 35 million euro ($40.4 million) deal with Flamengo – the club Paqueta joined as a ten-year-old – in what would be the most expensive signing of a Brazilian player by an Italian club.

The 21-year-old completed his medical in Rio on Wednesday, and should arrive in Milan in January.

“We have a basic agreement with Flamengo, but the market doesn’t re-open until January so there’s still a little bit to go before it’s official,” Brazilian Leonardo told journalists after receiving the Liedholm Award, an Italian prize which honours those who embody the values of sport.

“Now we can only think of the league and the Europa League, not the transfer market.

“At the moment he’s a Flamengo player, he still has some Brazilian league matches to play. We have to wait for January 3.”

Leonardo confirmed that the club have also “thought about” signing Ibrahimovic, who joined LA Galaxy this season and has a contract through the 2019 season with the Major League Soccer side.

Ibrahimovic played for AC Milan from 2010 to 2012, winning a Serie A title with the club, before moving to Paris Saint-Germain and then Manchester United.

Leonardo, a midfielder who also played for both PSG and Milan, was director of football at the Parisian club when the Swedish striker joined.

“It’s normal that there’s a personal connection with him. When we first arrived we thought about it, even at the age of 37 he can drive a team,” said Leonardo.

“Right now the transfer window is closed, we have to do things calmly and not forget that there are some Financial Fair Play stakes. We want to build a competitive team.”

In addition to his two seasons with Milan, the Swede earlier won three Serie A titles with city rivals Inter Milan, and also played two seasons with Juventus.

According to reports, Paqueta — who can play both in midfield and as a striker — has agreed a five-year deal worth 1.5 million euro ($1.7 million) per season.

Paqueta was called up to the Brazil squad for the first time in August for friendlies against the United States and El Salvador.

He had also been targeted by top European clubs including Liverpool, Paris Saint-Germain, Lazio, Barcelona and Manchester City.

Leonardo, who also began his career at Flamengo, reportedly played a key role in Paqueta’s move to the San Siro.

Flamengo will receive 70 percent of the 35 million euros transfer fee and the remainder to be divided between the player and the Brazilian federation.

AFP