Former Milan Manager Pioli Headed to Saudi Arabia

Stefano Pioli has found a new perch after being let go by Milan, as he’ll move to Saudi Arabia to take over Al-Ittihad. He’ll sign a three-year contract and replace Marcelo Gallardo. The side finished 5th in the past campaign.

According to Fabrizio Romano (via SOSFanta), the former Rossoneri manager quickly emerged as a strong candidate once the Saudi side decided to move on from the Argentine. It wasn’t too challenging for the parties to come to an understanding. He’ll manage Karim Benzema, who butted heads with the previous gaffer, Fabinho, N’Golo Kanté, Luis Felipe, Jota, and company. Their top director is former Tottenham, Barcelona, Getafe and Betis exec Ramon Planes.

Pioli heads to Al-Ittihad after a five-year run with Milan, which was coronated by the 2022 Scudetto, his first title as a coach. Per Calciomercato, he’ll make €15/18M annually. The former midfielder began his career on the bench at Salernitana and Modena. He spent time especially at Bologna, Lazio, Inter, and Fiorentina in Serie A.

The 58-year-old was an option for Napoli in the past coaching carousel, but the Partenopei landed their top target Antonio Conte. He was linked to a return to Bologna, but they went with Vincenzo Italiano.

With his Al-Ittihad move, Pioli will be the first Italian manager to work in the Saudi Pro League. A seasoned official, ex-Roma Guido Fienga, took the same route last year as he’s part of the Al-Nassr management.

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