December 23, 2019 / 9:11 PM / a month ago

Fiorentina name Iachini as new coach to replace Montella

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Serie A - Empoli v Inter Milan - Stadio Carlo Castellani, Empoli, Italy - December 29, 2018 Empoli coach Giuseppe Iachini during the match REUTERS/Jennifer Lorenzini

MILAN (Reuters) - Struggling Serie A side Fiorentina named Giuseppe Iachini, a seasoned professional well-known on the Italian coaching circuit, as their new manager on Monday to replace Vincenzo Montella, who was fired at the weekend.

The 55-year-old old has led four different clubs out of Serie B into the top flight, although he has never coached any of Italy’s biggest clubs or won a major title.

Montella, who was in charge for eight months, was sacked on Saturday after a 4-1 home defeat by AS Roma which extended Fiorentina’s winless run to seven matches and left them 15th in Serie A with 17 points, three clear of the relegation zone.

“The current situation in the table forced us to change the coach,” said Rocco Commisso, the club’s billionaire U.S.-born owner. “We chose Iachini because he is a great man, linked to Florence and Fiorentina. Now we have to stick together and get back on the right track as soon as possible”.

Iachini won promotion to Serie A with Chievo in 2008, Brescia in 2010, Sampdoria in 2012 and Palermo in 2014 and has also coached Venezia, Cesena, Vicenza, Piacenza, Siena, Udinese and Sassuolo.

He has also experienced the downside of Italian football and suffered several sackings, most recently by Empoli in March after four months in charge. He was fired twice in four months by Palermo in the 2015-16 season, the second time after three weeks.

Fiorentina, who narrowly escaped relegation on the final day of last season, began this term with new hope after Commisso bought the club from the Della Valle family in June in a deal reported by Reuters to be valued at 160 million euros ($177.47 million).

The new owners immediately strengthened the squad, signing Brazilian forward Pedro, Chilean midfielder Erick Pulgar, Liverpool teenager Bobby Duncan plus veteran French winger Franck Ribery and managed to hold onto forward Federico Chiesa.

The Della Valle family had re-established the club after it was declared bankrupt in 2002 but fans felt it had begun to stagnate after a series of top-half finishes.

Writing by Brian Homewood; Editing by Ken Ferris

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