May 30, 2017 / 2:40 PM / 8 months ago

AC Milan coach Montella renews contract until 2019

(Reuters) - Vincenzo Montella became the first AC Milan coach in four years to survive the close season after the club announced on Tuesday that his contract had been renewed until 2019.

The 42-year-old led a mixture of young players and journeyman professionals to sixth place in Serie A this season, earning them a place in next season’s Europa League qualifiers and ending a three-season absence from European competition.

Despite several wobbles and unconvincing performances, he convinced the club’s new management to keep him on to try and restore the seven-times European champions to their former glory.

“I‘m very grateful for the confidence and for being allowed to continue to coach Milan and aim for new goals and triumphs that will grace the history of this club,” he said in an official club video.

Milan was sold by Italian former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi to a Chinese-led consortium in April, ending eight months of uncertainty after the deal was initially announced last August.

Berlusconi brought huge success to the club but his last years in charge were plagued by unsuccessful transfers and musical chairs in the coach’s seat.

Massimiliano Allegri was fired in January 2014 and his successor Clarence Seedorf departed at the end of the same season.

Filippo Inzaghi was in charge for 2014-15 followed by Sinisa Mihajlovic, who was fired one month before the end of the 2015-16 season and replaced by interim Cristian Brocchi, with Montella being hired during the close season.

Reporting by Silvia Recchimuzzi in Milan and Brian Homewood; Editing by Keith Weir and Richard Lough

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