Milan: Filippo Inzaghi has clung on to his job as AC Milan coach following their 3-1 home defeat by Genoa and will stay unless there are any major changes, the club said on Thursday.
Italian media reported on Thursday morning that Inzaghi could be replaced by youth team coach Cristian Brocchi for the final five matches of the season in an attempt to save the club from further embarrassment.
But an announcement on Milan’s television channel said that Inzaghi will “remain at the helm at Milan unless there are any major changes.”
Inzaghi’s position had become increasingly precarious following a run of four matches without a win that left his side in 10th place and set to miss out on European football for a second season in a row.
Milan have 43 points from 33 matches — 33 fewer than leaders Juventus.
Wednesday’s defeat came as former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was meeting Thai businessman Bee Taechaubol to discuss the sale of the club, which he has owned for almost 30 years.
Milan’s website also said that the players had been released from a so-called “ritiro”, in which they are confined to the club’s training headquarters.
They had agreed to the “ritiro” after a 2-1 defeat at Udinese on Saturday, when Inzaghi criticised them for lack of effort.
In what has become a familiar routine, Milan’s season has been a story of crises, false dawns, injuries and new signings who have failed to settle in. Fernando Torres came and went, scoring one goal in four months, and forwards Alessio Cerci and Mattia Destro have managed three goals between them since joining in the January transfer window.
Inzaghi has been going through the same process as his predecessors Massimiliano Allegri, dismissed in January last year, and Clarence Seedorf, who followed him at the end of last season.
Both fell victim to a combination of unrealistically high expectations and a lacklustre squad, and were eventually fired.
Allegri is now with Juventus, who are 14 points clear of the field with five matches left and have reached the Champions League semi-finals.
Inzaghi, who during his playing days was famously described by then Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson as having been “born offside”, was hugely popular with Milan fans, having spent most of his playing career at the club.
The 41-year-old was handed the role as their youth team coach after ending his playing career three years ago. He played at the 1998, 2002 and 2006 World Cups, scoring a total of 25 international goals.