Wednesday’s disheartening 2-1 home defeat to Atalanta did not only crash Milan out of the Coppa Italia but intensified pressure on Stefano Pioli. It’s a near-certainty the Scudetto-winning manager won’t be at the helm beyond next summer.
But he must survive this season first. Milan have already cast a wide net in search of Pioli’s successor. According to PianetaMilan, Bologna coach Thiago Motta tops the club’s shortlist amid talks linking Rossoneri with an audacious bid for ex-Inter and Juventus boss Antonio Conte.
Conte’s stellar reputation and impressive track record in Serie A make him an ideal candidate for the job. But the decorated manager’s flamboyant nature has proved too hot to handle for virtually every previous employer.
Milan might have noted Conte’s propensity for abruptly tarnishing his relations with former clubs. On top of that, he’s already negotiating a potential takeover of Napoli with Aurelio De Laurentiis.
On the other hand, Motta has quickly grown to become one of the most highly-rated up-and-coming managers in Europe. His favorite 4-2-3-1 formation, based on high press and effective transition, ticks all the boxes for the type of manager Milan are keen to recruit.
With that in mind, it’s unsurprising that Rossoneri have identified him as a frontrunner to replace Pioli. There’s also the financial aspect. Motta would probably warrant significantly lower wages than Conte.
Since Milan are not exactly an economic superpower, it could be a decisive factor to tip the scales in Motta’s favor.
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