Montella gets backing from new AC Milan owners
Vincenzo Montella has been given the backing of AC Milan's new owners despite speculation that he will be replaced at the end of the season.
AC Milan have expressed their total support of head coach Vincenzo Montella following the takeover of the club by a Chinese consortium.
Rossoneri Sport Investment Lux completed their purchase of a 99.9 per cent stake in the club on Thursday in a deal worth €740million.
Montella later admitted that he could not offer any guarantees over his future, despite insisting that he was happy to stay on at San Siro.
However, speaking at a media conference on Friday to introduce the new owners, general manager Marco Fassone made it clear that they are firmly behind the 42-year-old.
"Vincenzo has all our respect and support and has had it since last June when together we decided to appoint him as AC Milan's coach," Fassone said.
Former president Silvio Berlusconi admitted in an open letter to fans that it had become essential to find wealthy buyers for Milan in order to help them return to the summit of European football.
The new owners even affirmed their commitment "to undertake significant capital increases and liquidity injections aimed at strengthening AC Milan's financial structure" in the statement confirming the closure of the sale.
Fassone hinted at significant spending to come before next season as he underlined Milan's goal to return to the Champions League within a year.
"We have some ideas. The key step is to sit down at the table with the coach and then to work on the market," he said.
"The budget is important. From the beginning, the president and Mr Han have not hidden from me that the goal is to build a very competitive and ambitious Milan, so I will have the economic means to ensure that we can achieve those goals in the short term.
"The idea is to get back into the Champions League as soon as possible. It's very important in terms of visibility, prestige and for economic reasons.
"UEFA's decision to grant four spots for the Champions League to Italy makes it our primary objective to take part in the 2018-19 season."
Key among Milan's priorities will be finalising a new contract for goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma, who has been linked with a move away.
"From our side, there's a desire to resolve this issue soon," Fassone said. "We want Donnarumma to be a pillar of our future. It's certainly one of our priorities."