Next AC Milan manager: Who could Rossoneri turn to next?

Published on: October 3, 2019
Author: Jamie Clark
Who will be next AC Milan manager after Marco Giampaolo?

Marco Giampaolo lost four of his opening six games, so there’s already talk of who the next AC Milan manager will be?

The San Siro side have experienced a decade of decline. They last lifted Serie A in 2010-11 and are already way off the pace this season.

It’s a tough job. A string of Rossoneri legends have tried to revive Milan’s fortunes but their golden era under Carlo Ancelotti is little more than a distant memory.

Coaching AC Milan is one of the hardest gigs in European football. A club with such prestige and history will always attract interest, however.

Appointing Giampaolo was a risk worth taking but it doesn’t seem to be working out. Problems at the red half of the San Siro probably goes a lot deeper than the manager in truth.

Replacing the world class generation of players who reached three UEFA Champions League finals in the space of four years (2003-2007) was always going to be a big, if not impossible task.

The Rossoneri have spent many millions trying, but no subsequent coach has really had Ancelotti’s Midas touch.

Milan are a much diminished force domestically. They’re not even allowed to compete in Europe this term due to breaches of Financial Fair Play regulations.

That should allow them to focus on rebuilding themselves in Serie A. With Giampaolo’s job already at risk, who are potential candidates to be the next AC Milan manager?

Could Allegri or Gattuso go back?

They say never go back, but were Rossoneri chiefs a little hasty in getting rid of Gennaro Gattuso? This former player was a teammate of technical director Paolo Maldini for many years.

Gattuso – a combative midfielder – steered Milan to sixth and fifth place finishes in Serie A over the last two seasons.

That wasn’t deemed good enough by the hierarchy but it’s preferable to their poor start under successor Giampaolo.

The Rossoneri were eliminated from the Europa League in the group stage last term. That piled pressure on Gattuso.

You know what they say – great players don’t necessarily make great coaches.

Judging Gattuso statistically, his win percentage was a shade under half of his games in charge. Such are the demands at a club like Milan that it’s not quite enough.

Massimiliano Allegri – Max to his friends – was the last boss to steer the Rossoneri to the Scudetto. He’s available after leaving Juventus following five years in Turin over the summer.

It would take a leap of faith to think he could pull off a repeat of that league title win from 2011.

Allegri is supposed to be on sabbatical, so the prospect of a swift return to management with a Milan outfit significantly weaker than when he left in 2014 probably doesn’t appeal.

Going back for a second spell looks like a hiding to nothing. Allegri reportedly has eyes for a Premier League job once he’s fully refreshed after that spell with the Old Lady.

If not Gattuso or Allegri for next AC Milan manager, then who?

One last shot for Ranieri or Wenger?

Coaching the Rossoneri is one of the few jobs in Italian football that Claudio Ranieri hasn’t done.

The former Leicester City and Chelsea boss ended last season in temporary charge of hometown team Roma.

Ranieri has spent well over 30 years in football management and his roles include Napoli, Fiorentina, Parma, Juve and Inter Milan. He’s also coached abroad extensively.

As he celebrates his 68th birthday, is Ranieri really someone who can revive the Rossoneri?

Age is no barrier to success as his finest hour arguably came when guiding the Foxes to that against all odds Premier League title triumph in 2016.

Ranieri also won half of his 12 games in charge of Roma last season, so clearly has a few tricks up his sleeve still.

He’s not the only boss to have coached in England being linked with replacing Giampaolo either.

Arsene Wenger is synonymous with Arsenal. He turns 70 in 2019 and the legendary Gunners gaffer has never coached in Italy, but never say never.

What a lot of recent Milan bosses have lacked is a high profile as a manager. Wenger is a hugely respected figure within football for his era at Arsenal which includes the incredible Invincibles vintage.

Neither Ranieri nor Wenger could be a long-term appointment like Ancelotti or Allegri were.

It all depends on the direction Maldini and the Milan hierarchy want to go in. Stability in the dugout rather than chopping and changing would be preferable, though.

Is Shevchenko worth a go as next AC Milan manager?

Clarence Seedorf, Filippo Inzaghi, Cristian Brocchi and Gattuso are former players who have tried the Rossoneri dugout in the last five years or so.

Prolific Milan goalscorer Andriy Shevchenko is coaching the national team in his native Ukraine and the link is an obvious one.

As a legend for both former club and country, ‘Sheva’ fired the Rossoneri to Champions League, Coppa Italia and Serie A glory.

He was also recognised for his contribution towards those triumphs with the Ballon d’Or in 2004.

Rumours are now gathering pace that Shevchenko could be next AC Milan manager and why not? The club have tried other legends from their golden generation, so he could follow suit.

It’s a question of timing. Shevchenko has Ukraine in the hunt for reaching the Euro 2020 finals and two of their last three qualifiers are at home.

Does he want to leave a project that is so close to proving successful to sort out this mess at the San Siro? This could go either way.

Shevchenko may see the way that some of his former Rossoneri teammates have been chewed up and spat out by the club when stepping up to the plate as coach and think this isn’t for him.

Or the lure of returning to Milan may prove too strong for him to resist. If it’s the latter, then his legacy is on the line, because this represents a gamble from Shevchenko.

He could be forgiven for being tempted. Any move for Shevchenko would appease the Milan ultras, but he is lacking experience of day-to-day club management.

Rudi Garcia also linked

Former Roma boss Rudi Garcia is a free agent after leaving Marseille at the end of last season.

In the three full seasons he had in charge of the Giallorossi, the French coach steered them to consecutive top three finishes.

A previous spell with Lille saw Garcia pull off a surprise Ligue 1 title triumph. The club also did the league and Coupe de France double in 2011.

This successful squad contained Yohan Cabaye, Gervinho, Idrissa Gueye and a certain Eden Hazard.

Garcia even took Marseille to the 2018 Europa League final, so his last three roles in management all show some promise.

Roma fans were sceptical about his appointment in 2013, but a superb start to his tenure in Italy soon dispelled doubters.

The Giallorossi had decent title tilts under Garcia, however, and came up short. That being said, challenging for honours is infinitely preferable to where Milan are now.

An ability to make an immediate impact is what everyone wants of a new boss. Both Roma and Marseille made big improvements on their league positions with Garcia at the helm compared to the previous season.

The Rossoneri’s relatively low ebb calls for something similar.

Milan chiefs may look favourably upon Garcia’s previous work in Italy and think him worthy of consideration as they search for a way forward which restores some of the pride in the shirt.