AC Milan have announced that Stefano Pioli will no longer be the coach after the final match of the 2023/24 Serie A season at home against Salernitana, ending an almost five-year stint in charge.

Pioli became the Milan coach in October 2019 and managed to deliver the Serie A title in the 2021/22 season, a year in which he was the coach of the season and won coach of the month three times.

Pioli ensured that Milan qualified for the Champions League in the last four seasons but a lack of silverware and a non-existent title challenge means that Milan will look for a new coach, with Pioli having one year left on his current deal.

Who will AC Milan’s new coach be?

Fonseca
Lille coach Paulo Fonseca. [@LOSC_EN]

Whilst the official announcement from Milan only came the day before the last game of the season, it has been clear for at least a month that Pioli would not be the coach in 2024/25.

For that reason, newspapers from all over Europe have linked a host of different coaches with the job. Names such as Thiago Motta, Sergio Conceicao, Paulo Fonseca, Julen Lopetegui, Domenico Tedesco, Roberto De Zerbi, Mark van Bommel and many more have been touted.

Motta looks set for Juventus and Lopetegui (after being rejected by the Milan fanbase) has been named as the new West Ham United coach. If the latest reports are to be believed, Fonseca is the man that Milan have chosen as Pioli‘s replacement.

Calciomercato.com (via Sempre Milan) has reported that Fonseca ticks a number of boxes for Milan; his experience in and out of Italy, his attacking style of play, and his ability to develop young players.

Fonseca was the AS Roma coach before Jose Mourinho took over and he is currently in charge at Lille. Marseille appear to be the major threat to Milan but there is a three-year contract on the table for the Portuguese coach.

What next for Stefano Pioli?

With Stefano Pioli having to keep up the pretence that he will be the Milan coach next season until this announcement was made, there has been no real clue as to whether he wants to go straight into a new job or take some time away.

What is clear is that teams are interested in him. In terms of options within Serie A, Napoli have shown serious interest as they seek a safer pair of hands than the three coaches they went through this season. The likes of Gian Piero Gasperini, Vincenzo Italiano and Antonio Conte are being linked with the Napoli job.

A return to Bologna is another option for Pioli given Motta will be leaving the Rossoblu at the end of the season. That would mean he is still in the Champions League, but Calciomercato.com (via Sempre Milan) report that Bologna are more focused on poaching Italiano from Fiorentina.

Outside of Italy, Turkish club Fenerbahce have emerged as an option too. Given they have spent much of the season at war with the Turkish footballing authorities, it would certainly be a challenge for Pioli.