Football: Milan show faith in Allegri


AC Milan owner Silvio Berlusconi has ended weeks of speculation surrounding the position of Massimiliano Allegri by saying the coach will remain at the helm of the Serie A giants.

Allegri’s future, following a third place finish in Serie A, was under threat after a tense finish to the season.

However, after a three-hour dinner meeting, at which CEO Adriano Galliani was also present, the club announced on its website at midnight on Sunday that Allegri will see out the final year of his contract at the San Siro.

“We had a frank and cordial discussion during which we reviewed and analysed a lot of what happened last season, as well as clearing a few things up,” said Berlusconi.

“We also talked about what kind of football we want to be playing next season and what kind of policy we should have for the transfer market.

“Our ongoing relationship with the coach continues with absolute confidence and mutual respect.”

The news will be welcomed by Allegri, who endured a roller-coaster ride during his third season in charge of the Rossoneri.

After leading the seven-time European champions to the league title in his first season in charge in 2011, Milan finished runner-up to a resurgent Juventus in 2012.

Milan’s bid for another top three finish early in the last campaign was hit hard by a summer clear-out of players from the San Siro, with a raft of experienced talent including Clarence Seedorf, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Filippo Inzaghi either moving on or retiring.

Milan struggled during the first half of the campaign but, following the January transfer signing of Mario Balotelli from Manchester City, battled back to clinch third place – which offers a Champions League place via a preliminary round – with a two-point cushion on Fiorentina.

Milan could now face Real Sociedad, Fenerbahce, PSV Eindhoven or Pacos de Ferreira in the two-leg preliminary round which is set to be played on August 20/21 and 27/28.

Allegri’s news, meanwhile, is likely to see Roma scurrying to sign a new coach. Allegri had been tipped to take over the Giallorossi in the event he was released by the club.

Roma could now turn their attention to former France coach Laurent Blanc, according to reports.


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