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Stefano Pioli to step down as AC Milan manager after five years at the helm

AC Milan manager Stefano Pioli will depart from the club at the end of the season after a five-year tenure.

The 58-year-old was appointed in 2019 and three years later led the team to a first Serie A title since 2011. But they have failed mount a serious challenge in the two campaigns since and, despite being set to finish runners-up, they are 19 points behind champions and bitter rivals Inter ahead of their final game.

As defending champions last season they came fourth, 20 points adrift of Napoli but the former Fiorentina coach masterminded a worthy Champions League campaign, guiding the Rossoneri to the semi-final where they were defeated 3-0 on aggregate by their city rivals.

This season they were eliminated in the group stage after finishing behind Paris St Germain and eventual finalists Borussia Dortmund, dropping into the Europa League where they were beaten at the quarter-final stage by Roma.

Previously Pioli had overseen an end to the club's eight-year exile from Europe's top competition after financial troubles condemned them to a succession of mid-table finishes.

A club statement said: "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."

Milan round off their Serie A season at home to relegated Salernitana on Saturday.

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