Vincenzo Montella was surprised by AC Milan’s decision to sack him and suspects it was a move instigated by the club’s owners rather than the directors.
The club announced Montella’s dismissal on Monday, a day after the 0-0 draw at home to Torino, to end weeks of speculation, with Gennaro Gattuso stepping up from the Primavera youth team to take over.
Montella had been under pressure for much of the season due to Milan’s underwhelming form, the club having spent heavily in pre-season to no discernible effect.
“I was calm and I didn’t suspect anything, I swear,” he told Gazzetta dello Sport. “I was ready for training as always, on a normal day like any other.
“The timing [surprised me most] – there were other times where it would have been more plausible. This time the team was giving answers, both technically and in terms of temperament.
“When I arrived at Milanello [Milan’s training base], I was greeted by [Giuseppe] Mangiarano, our secretary general, who came with me to see the [sporting] director. Then [Massimiliano] Mirabelli told me they’d made the decision in the night.
“I think it was a choice made more by the owners than by the directors.”