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AC Milan have officially announced that coach Stefano Pioli will leave the club at the end of the season after managing his last game at San Siro on Saturday against Salernitana. Pioli arrived at the club in the fall of 2019 and brought the Rossoneri back to the top of Serie A, winning the Scudetto in 2022, and now will leave AC Milan one season before the end of his contract. 

The Italian giants issued the following statement announcing the news.

"AC Milan and Stefano Pioli announce that the Mister will be departing after the end of the current season, after having been in charge of the First Team since October 2019. AC Milan extends heartfelt thanks to Stefano Pioli and his entire staff for leading the First Team over the past five years, securing an unforgettable League title and re-establishing AC Milan's consistent presence in the top European competition. Stefano's professionalism and human touch have significantly contributed to the growth of the squad, embodying the Club's core values from day one.

"Stefano Pioli expresses his gratitude to AC Milan for the opportunity to be part of the history of this glorious Club. He is deeply thankful to the ownership, management, team, staff, and everyone at Milanello and Casa Milan for their support and outstanding commitment. He also extends a special thanks to the many fans who have passionately supported AC Milan over the years, demonstrating unwavering dedication."

The news was not unexpected following reporrts that AC Milan owner Gerry Cardinale had decided to part ways with Pioli after giving him more power in the decision making process in the summer 2023, a choice that also led to the exit of former club legend Paolo Maldini and sport director Ricky Massara. 

AC Milan made some important transfer moves last summer under Pioli's supervision, such as bringing in United States men's national team star Christian Pulisic, former Chelsea midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Samuel Chukwueze from Villarreal, but also sold Italian midfielder Sandro Tonali who joined Newcastle in the same summer transfer window. Despite the multiple signings, AC Milan were never in the race to win the Serie A title and were knocked out by Atalanta in the Coppa Italia quarter finals, but most notably were also eliminated in the group stages of the UEFA Champions League, before losing to AS Roma in the quarter finals of the Europa League. The Rossoneri ended up second in the Serie A table behind city rivals Inter, who won the title. 

The club is already working to sign the replacement and the current frontrunner for the job is reportedly former AS Roma boss Paulo Fonseca, who seems to be the most likely candidate to replace Pioli. 

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