In Brief

AC Milan in crisis: can Gennaro Gattuso revive the Rossoneri?

Former midfielder takes over after Milan sack manager Vincenzo Montella

AC Milan have “entrusted” former footballer Gennaro Gattuso with the job of reviving their season after manager Vincenzo Montella was sacked today. 

Gattuso, who has stepped up on an interim basis from coaching Milan’s Primavera side, is a fans’ favourite at the San Siro, having played more than 400 matches for the club during a 13-year spell with the Rossoneri.

Known for his all-action displays, Milan fans will be hoping that his battling qualities are taken on board by the club’s struggling stars.

Montella was fired a day after Milan drew 0-0 at home against Torino in Serie A. The draw leaves Milan in seventh place in Serie A with 20 points from 14 matches and just two wins from their past nine matches.

In a statement on its website, Milan announced Montella was being replaced by Gattuso and wished the 39-year-old the “best of luck”.

“AC Milan announce to have parted ways with coach Vincenzo Montella,” said the statement. “We are very grateful to Mr Montella and his staff for all the work done up to today, their commitment and professionalism.  

“Management of the first team is entrusted to Gennaro Gattuso, who leaves his position as Primavera coach and to whom AC Milan wish the best of luck. A press conference is scheduled for tomorrow to present the new coach at Milanello training centre.”

Milan, which is now under Chinese ownership, went into the season with high hopes after spending more than £150million on transfers during a busy summer. The club paid £37.5m for defender Leonardo Bonucci from Juventus.

But reports of a cashflow crisis at Milan could see Italy defender Bonucci “sacrificed” to avoid any further money woes. The Daily Express says that Real Madrid could swoop for Bonucci to “save Milan from a financial mess”. 

Another of Milan’s big-name signings linked with a move away is striker Andre Silva.

The 21-year-old was last month reported to be a target for Arsenal as a replacement for out-of-contract Alexis Sanchez. As Milan is going through a period of financial turbulence following its sponsorship deals, the Daily Mirror says they may be “forced to cash in on their prized assets”.

With Gattuso now at the helm, his first job on the struggling Milan ship will be to get the team winning again on the pitch. On Sunday they travel to Benevento and will expect to beat a team that has lost all 13 Serie A matches so far this season.

While he may not have the most successful managerial record from his stints at Sion, Palermo and Pisa, what Gattuso will bring is passion for the famous red and black shirt.

Nicknamed the ‘Pitbull’, Gattuso will always be remembered for some crunching challenges on the pitch and some heated exchanges off it.

Here are some highlights of Gattuso’s playing career at AC Milan:

A passionate player during his Milan career.

He loved a battle on and off the pitch.

The new boss.

How Milan fans reacted to Gattuso’s appointment:

Clinging on to the past?

Watch out Fabio Borini.

The Milan team ‘reacts’.

Will Peter Crouch be signing for Milan?

Training could be interesting at Milan HQ.

“Prove me wrong”.

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