Pioli to remain AC Milan manager after move for Rangnick called off
Nicolò Campo / LightRocket / Getty

AC Milan are abandoning plans to install Ralf Rangnick as director and manager and are instead sticking with Stefano Pioli for the next two seasons.

Rangnick, known as the godfather of modern German football, was set to take on an all-encompassing role at the club. But he will now remain at Red Bull, where he currently serves as head of sport and development.

Pioli has been rewarded with a two-year extension after guiding Milan to seven wins in their last nine Serie A matches, including Tuesday's 2-1 result against Sassuolo and victories over Roma, Lazio, and Juventus.

"I am delighted with this agreement," club CEO Ivan Gazidis said in a statement. "Stefano has shown he can deliver the vision of football we have for our club - exciting, progressive, and passionate.

"This is not a decision based on recent victories, but one based on how Stefano has built team spirit and unity of purpose, the way he has improved the performances of the individual players and the collective team, the way he has embraced our vision and the way he has represented himself and the club's values."

It was an open secret for some time that Rangnick would join Milan. Reports of a deal first emerged in February, when the Rossoneri began to tumble down the standings.

But the rumors created friction at board level. Zvonimir Boban was fired as chief football officer for criticizing Gazidis in an unauthorized interview, and Boban's right-hand man, Paolo Maldini, slammed Rangnick for speaking about the job at Milan.

Pioli, meanwhile, focused on the task at hand, and Milan came out of Serie A's three-month hiatus reinvigorated. They've collected the second-highest number of points (23) since Serie A resumed play in June.

Regarded as a journeyman following brief stints at Lazio, Inter, and Fiorentina, Pioli replaced Marco Giampaolo in October. The 54-year-old is Milan's ninth full-time manager since the club last won the Scudetto in 2011.

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Pioli to remain AC Milan manager after move for Rangnick called off
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