Maldini Also Paid the Price Due to Frictions with Pioli

Paolo Maldini wasn’t axed only because his ideas and strategy didn’t coincide with those of the ownership but because he clashed with Stefano Pioli too. The higher-ups decided to side with the coach. He will have more power after the shake-up, La Gazzetta dello Sport informs.

The Rossoneri managed to keep the disagreements under wraps throughout the course of the season. The director was unhappy with the gaffer for two reasons in particular. First of all, he believed his playing style had grown stale. Secondly, he didn’t appreciate how a few of last summer’s newcomers didn’t get minutes. Charles De Ketelaere quickly fell out of favor, while Yacine Adli and Aster Vranckx rarely ever played. That tarnished the judgment of their previous reinforcement campaign.

The rift between Maldini and Pioli wasn’t one of the main elements that led to the legend’s ousting but was a contributing factor. Gerry Cardinale holds the boss in high regard, as team president Paolo Scaroni recently confirmed.

The relationship between the duo had deteriorated to the point that the exec considered a coaching change, Corriere dello Sport informs. He had come to the decision after the loss against Spezia on May 13th. Maldini wanted to replace Pioli with his former teammate Andrea Pirlo. The ex-Juventus tactician indeed left Turkish side Fatih Karagumruk a few days later to get a head start on his search for a new club. A few Serie B sides are eyeing him, especially Pisa. The rest of the Milan brass impeded the bombastic plan, though.

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