AC Milan fires manager Mihajlovic; Brocchi takes over

MILAN (AP) — AC Milan fired coach Sinisa Mihajlovic on Tuesday and replaced him with youth team coach Cristian Brocchi until the end of the season.

The decision had been expected since Monday night when club owner Silvio Berlusconi met with Brocchi and vice president Adriano Galliano for about three hours.

Brocchi becomes Milan's fifth coach in little more than two years. It is the 40-year-old Italian's first senior coaching role. He will take charge of his first training session Tuesday afternoon and be presented at a news conference the following day,

"Our most sincere thanks go to Mr. Mihajlovic for the work he has done with dedication and honesty," Milan said in a statement.

Mihajlovic, a former Inter Milan player and assistant coach, joined Milan from Sampdoria in June and steered the team to its first Italian Cup final since 2003.

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His future at Milan was reportedly linked to the outcome of the final, against defending champion Juventus, but two straight league defeats—against Atalanta and Juventus—made Berlusconi act earlier.

Milan is without a win in its past five matches, losing three of them, to leave it in danger of failing to qualify for Europe for a third straight season.

Milan last promoted a youth team coach two years ago. Filippo Inzaghi lasted a year, then was fired and replaced by Mihajlovic.

Brocchi, who also played for Inter, won the Champions League twice as well as the Italian league and cup in a seven-year spell at Milan from 2001 to 2008.

The last Milan coach to spend more than a year in the job was Massimiliano Allegri, fired in January 2014. Allegri went on to take over at Juventus that July, steering the Bianconeri to the Italian league and cup double and to the Champions League final in his first season in charge.

Milan is the ninth Serie A club to change coaches this season.

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