MILAN, July 21 (Reuters) - AC Milan have abandoned plans to hire former RB Leipzig and Schalke 04 coach Ralf Rangnick, German magazine Kicker said on its website on Tuesday.
Italian media have been reporting regularly since February that Milan have been in negotiations to hire the 62-year-old from next season on the initiative of the club’s chief executive Ivan Gazidis.
Yet the team have enjoyed a revival under coach Stefano Pioli who would have to be fired with one year of his contract to run to make way for the German.
Rangnick’s role, similar to that of an English manager, could also have led to the removal of technical director Paolo Maldini, a club favourite.
Kicker said that Rangnick would now remain with energy drinks manufacturer Red Bull where he has a role as head of sporting development.
It quoted a statement from Rangnick’s advisor Marc Kosicke as saying: “AC Milan and Ralf Rangnick have agreed that it is not the right time for cooperation at the moment.
“For this reason, and taking into account the good development and results under coach Pioli, they have jointly decided that Ralf Rangnick will not be taking on a position with AC Milan.”
There was no immediate comment from Milan who were away to Sassuolo in a Serie A match on Tuesday.
Rangnick is regarded as a visionary and one of the modern pioneers of aggressive high-pressing football while Pioli, though widely respected in Italy, has never won a major title. (Writing by Brian Homewood; additional reporting by Elvira Pollina Editing by Toby Davis)