Gattuso replaces Montella as Milan coach

Big-spending AC Milan sacked coach Vincenzo Montella yesterday and replaced him with their former midfielder Gennaro Gattuso.

Montella was dismissed one day after a 0-0 draw with Torino left Milan, who had spent more than 200 million euros (S$320.8 million) on transfers in the close season, seventh in Serie A with 20 points from 14 games, 18 behind leaders Napoli.

The famously combative Gattuso, part of Italy's World Cup-winning squad in 2006, became Milan's sixth coach since Massimiliano Allegri was fired in January 2014.

Montella, the first coach to go since former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi sold the club to a Chinese-led consortium in a 740-million-euro deal in April, had been in charge since the start of last season, when he led them to sixth place in Serie A.

Gattuso, 39, spent 12 seasons playing for Milan, winning two Serie A, two Champions League and one Club World Cup titles, and was known as one of Italy's toughest players.

His coaching career has been a mixed bag though, after spells with Swiss, Italian and Greek sides before joining Milan as youth coach.

Meanwhile, Napoli went back top of Serie A on Sunday, after Jorginho fired them to a 1-0 win at Udinese, as champions Juventus returned to winning ways with a 3-0 victory over Crotone. - WIRE SERVICES