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AC Milan Legend In Support Of Julien Lopetegui Despite Fans Protest Against His Possible Appointment

Written By Onyeka Daniel

Milan legend Filippo Galli is confident that Julen Lopetegui may be the right option for the Rossoneri, praising the coach’s ‘spectacular football’. The 57-year-old Spanish coach has emerged as one of the leading candidates to take over from Stefano Pioli in the summer, being on the shortlist alongside others like Thiago Motta, Francesco Farioli, Paulo Fonseca, Mark van Bommel and Domenico Tedesco.

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Lopetegui has been out of work since August of last year, when he decided to leave Wolves due to a difference in ambitions. He showed some positives in his 27 matches in charge, picking up 10 wins and five draws. He spoke in a recent interview with Gazzetta dello Sport, first reacting to Lopetegui’s career in management. “If he becomes the next Milan coach, he’ll show up with a Europa League victory having beaten Inter in the final. As a business card, it’s not bad…”

He was asked If the Spanish coach was the right man for Milan. “The pitch will tell us. It’s true, things didn’t go well for him at Madrid and Porto, but as coach of Spain they achieved great results, offering spectacular football, and he won with Sevilla. “If Milan are looking for a coach with experience and the ability to work with young players, Lopetegui could be an interesting option.”


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The former defender commented on some of Lopetegui’s strongest aspects. “The offensive game first and foremost, San Siro and Milan fans are used to seeing good football. Lopetegui is going in this direction and let’s not forget that he belongs to the Basque school, from Xabi Alonso to Arteta and Unai Emery, many are doing very well.

“Lopetegui is a modern coach, who builds his teams according to the principles of positional football. And at Milan he would find a ‘pre-built’ team thanks to Pioli’s work.” Galli doesn’t expect Lopetegui to bring in sweeping changes at Milan. “No, I don’t think so. I think that Milan have decided to move on because the club considers Pioli’s cycle, who was and remains appreciated in the club, to be over.

“Unfortunately, when the results don’t arrive, the coaches always pay…” He touched on if it was a risk to hire a non-Italian coach. “It certainly won’t be easy for Lopetegui. He has experience, but he doesn’t know Italy. We play very tactical and strategic football at the same time, he might struggle at the beginning.”

Finally, Galli discussed Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s influence and if he should back the coach. “What matters is that the choice is shared by the entire management, with Ibrahimovic in the lead obviously. If this is the case, I have no doubts, Zlatan will protect him and put him in the best conditions.” He further added.

And while Lopetegui may have convinced Milan that he’s the right man to take over from Pioli and owner Gerry Cardinale has given the green light for a move, according to recent reports, it’s a decision that hasn’t gone down well with the club’s fanbase. Fans have started a campaign on social media against the potential new, called #Nopetegui – and the ultras warn ‘our patience has run out.

’The hashtag #Nopetegui was trending on X, formerly known as Twitter, in Italy today along with a petition launched by Milan Zone.Some even compared him to the disastrous and brief reign of Marco Giampaolo, calling Lopetegui’s arrival “the final nail in the coffin of Milan’s ambition.” The Curva Sud ultras also released a statement via Instagram blasting the club owner that, although not naming Lopetegui, certainly hinted at him.

“The season comes to an end and the mediocrity that characterized almost all of it has now made way for a disastrous finale that was amplified by some shocking statements from certain directors, not to mention rumours about the future coach that make us realise once again how the ambition of reliving the past glories is not the prerogative for this club.

“It has been nearly 2 years since the arrival of Mr Cardinale, a transitory phase was more than legitimate, but now the time has come to prove if the club wants to form a genuinely ambitious team or just be content to potter about year on year in the places that guarantee Champions League qualification and nothing more.”

The statement goes on to warn that if the latter is the case, then they “will not stand for it” and see “total chaos” within the club since Paolo Maldini and Frederic Massara were sacked. “Gentlemen, our patience has run out! Milan is not just a product and Milano is not a city that is content just to participate.

“Milan have a history and tradition making it accustomed to being in the pantheon of world football.“If these owners think they are at the level of these prerogatives, then prove it with concrete action (and the choice of new coach would be a big sign), so they can continue to enjoy the tireless support of a fanbase that is madly in love with the club.“If this is not the case, then forget the idea of experiencing Milan as a happy place, the way you have done so far.”

Meanwhile…

Milan director Geoffrey Moncada has opened direct talks with Aston Villa defender Diego Carlos ahead of the summer transfer window. The Rossoneri have struggled with cover in defence for large parts of this season, an issue that’ll again be present in their upcoming clash with Juventus.

Read Also: Antonio Conte Set To Return To Coaching As Salernitana Is Officially Relegated

As such, a new centre back is one of many reinforcements set to arrive in the summer. With Malick Thiaw attracting attention, Milan have started to draw up a list of possible candidates to bolster their backline, including Torino’s Alessandro Buongiorno, Brest’s Lilian Brassier and Wolfsburg’s Maxence Lacroix.

According to a report from Calciomercato, Moncada has made contact with Diego Carlos’ agent Giuliano Bertolucci to start exploring a possible summer move for the Aston Villa defender. The Rossoneri appreciate the 31-year-old’s leadership skills, experience, strong aerial ability and strong man-marking. The Villans aren’t keen to give up the defender for cheap, having spent €31m to sign him from Sevilla in the last summer transfer window.

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