Assessing six touted targets as AC Milan tipped to replace Gattuso

Gasperini Sarri Conte AC Milan

Speculation over Gennaro Gattuso’s future at Milan refuses to go away, and it’s expected that he will be replaced this summer.

As noted by Sportmediaset, the latest reports suggest that Maurizio Sarri is heading up the Rossoneri’s shortlist, although countless names have been paired with the post in recent months.

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Although a top-four finish in Serie A remains the objective and an achievable target, our slumps in form over the course of the campaign have been a concern and it has arguably raised question marks over whether or not Gattuso can take us further beyond a Champions League return.

With that in mind, it will be vital that the Milan hierarchy get the decision right if they opt to replace him, and there are certainly several names that have been linked with stepping in ahead of next season.

Maurizio Sarri

As noted in the report above, the current Chelsea boss is said to be meeting with Milan CEO Ivan Gazidis on Thursday, as he’s being tipped to leave the Blues after just one season in charge at Stamford Bridge.

The Italian tactician has established a reputation for playing expansive and attacking football, and that would certainly be welcome at the San Siro in the coming years with a group of talented young players.

However, the major blight on his record is that he has yet to win a major trophy, but he’ll be hoping to right that wrong later this month when Chelsea face Arsenal in the Europa League final.

Sarri would get us playing the style of football that we crave, and it could just be a perfect match to get back to winning trophies too.

Gian Piero Gasperini

His impressive work at Atalanta could lead to Champions League qualification, and in many ways it would be a shame to see him leave that project if they secure a place at Europe’s top table.

We’ve been here before with Gasperini, as after his impressive stint at Genoa, things didn’t work out at Inter when he took the step up to a bigger club.

As noted by MilanNews.it, it would appear as though he’s edging closer to the Roma job anyway, but given his ability to make the most of the talent at his disposal and to get results while playing a positive brand of football, he’d certainly be a top appointment.

Antonio Conte

As per the Daily Mail, Conte has had his time being considered a priority for Milan, but would the current position of the club put him off?

The former Juventus and Chelsea boss will surely want to take charge of a ready-made contender to add to his collection of major trophies, and so failure to qualify for the Champions League would arguably be the end of any hope of appointing him.

Further, given his experience and track record, there will be a long line of clubs considering him, and so it remains to be seen if Milan try to force their way to the front.

Other

With a touted £300m transfer war chest to try and convince him to join, the Guardian note that Mauricio Pochettino has also been linked with Milan.

Given what he has achieved at Tottenham, the Argentine tactician is arguably a dream appointment, as he’s ensured Spurs have competed with their rivals despite having a significantly smaller budget, while developing young, homegrown players and playing an impressive style of football.

However, it’s difficult to see how Milan can prise him away from north London.

Calciomercato have suggested that Milan have contacted former Roma boss Eusebio Di Francesco too, but given how his spell in the Italian capital played out, would that really be the sensible move?

If Milan prefer to go for a safe pair of hands, they don’t come much safer that an experienced and veteran coach in Arsene Wenger, with ESPN noting that the Frenchman dismissed links with us last year.

There is of course the obvious link with Gazidis from their time at Arsenal, and although he struggled to land trophies during the latter years with the Gunners, he did consistently deliver Champions League football and that is ultimately the short-term aim for Milan.