There is a small cluster of names linked with the soon-to-be vacant coaching job at Milan, among which Chilean Manuel Pellegrini is in pole position to replace coach Christian Brocchi, who took over from Sinisa Mihajlovic, next season.
Since news of a potential sale emerged, Milan’s assets have been frozen. The tentative date of the sale was previously June 15 which has now been further complicated by Berlusconi’s deteriorating health and reports of an impending heart surgery.
The state of affairs in Milan
The Italian press believes that the next Milan coach will be determined only after the sale. If Berlusconi fails to succeed in his negotiations with the Chinese, then Brocchi will be allowed to continue coaching Milan. But if the Chinese consortium manages to buy the agreed upon 70 percent stake in the club, then Pellegrini is a possibility because the foreigners would want a big name representing the club.
Unai Emery was the first choice for the Milan coaching role, however he seems to have thwarted Milan’s advances to instead yield to PSG. Gazzetta dello Sport claims that having failed in their pursuit of Unai Emery who has now won 3 Europa Leagues with Sevilla, Milan have turned their attentions to the departing Manchester City boss Pellegrini, who has had decent coaching spells in England and Spain.
The rumour and the denial
The Chilean, who admitted that he always wanted to coach a Serie A team, confessed that there hasn’t been an offer or an enquiry from Milan. His agent Jesus Martinez maintains that his client “is looking for a project, but has never had any contact with Milan.”(via Football Italia)
However he says that updates should be expected soon. “I think we’ll see him on a bench again. Could it be in Italy? I don’t know, I can’t really say because no proposals have arrived from Italy. Over the next few weeks, everything will become clearer.”
Despite the clear denial, Chilean newspaper La Segunda claims that Pellegrini is preparing to fly out to Italy to finalise a contract with the Diavolo (via Football Italia).
Pellegrini is a high profile coach with a vast amount of experience under his belt — perhaps just what Milan needs at the moment after having failed with coaches with less experience. Seedorf, Inzaghi and Brocchi were managers who have had very limited experience on the bench and understandably succumbed to the pressures of expectations. Mihajlovic, despite years of experience in Serie A as a player and a coach, failed to put together a consistent winning team at Milan. Pellegrini who has in the past done well even with low profile teams like Villarreal, taking them to the semi final of the Champions League in 2005, might perhaps be the man for the Milan job.