FLORENCE, Italy (AP) Fiorentina coach Stefano Pioli has stepped down amid a seven-match winless streak.
The club says assistant coach Giacomo Murelli was directing training on Tuesday, while no immediate replacement was named.
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Fiorentina has dropped out of contention for European competition and is down to 10th place in Serie A following a loss at home to relegation-threatened Frosinone on Sunday.
The club is anxious to straighten things out before facing Atalanta in the second leg of the Italian Cup semifinals on April 25. The first leg ended 3-3.
Pioli was hired in June 2017 and led Fiorentina to an eighth-place finish last season.
It’s the 12th coaching change in the Italian league this season.
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With just three matches left in the Serie A season and Inter Milan sitting in seventh, the Italian side has fired manager Stefano Pioli, the club confirmed in a statement.
Pioli was hired in November with the team in 12th. He had a fantastic impact out of the gates, leading the club on a run of 12 wins in 15 matches, featuring a seven-match win streak as part of that span and reaching as high as fourth in the Serie A table. However, the team has slumped towards the end of the season, without a win since March 12 and suffering five losses in their last seven games.
The club wrote in the statement, “Inter thanks Stefano and his staff for their dedication and hard work for the club during the last six months of what has turned out to be a difficult season.”
U-19 head coach Stefano Vecchi will take over on an interim basis, the second time he has filled in as Inter’s acting manager.
The two Milan clubs have both faced significant struggles in the past decade despite a long history of European success. While AC Milan has at times seemed on the verge of resurrection, Inter has faced a much deeper decline. For a fleeting moment it seemed they nearly vanquished the demons as the club reached the top quarter of the league table in February, but those proved to be fleeting hopes.
The announcement from the club came at almost the exact same time that fellow Italian club Juventus qualified for the Champions League final.
Stefano Pioli – sacked by Lazio just seven months ago – is set to become the ninth Inter manager over the last six years, according to multiple reports across Europe, including the BBC and Sky Italy.
The 51-year-old takes over following the departure of Frank de Boer, who was fired after just 89 days on the job with Inter sitting in 9th in the Serie A table, 13 points back of the top. No manager has lasted two full seasons in charge of Inter since Jose Mourinho left for Real Madrid in 2010 after winning the treble.
To welcome Pioli to his new job, the first match he is reportedly to take charge of will be the Milan derby against AC Milan following the international break on November 20.
The tenured Italian manager has spent time coaching up and down the Italian ranks and never spent long at any stop, most recently in Serie A with Lazio, Bologna, Palermo, Chievo Verona, and Sassuolo. The three seasons and 97 matches he managed at Bologna mark the longest tenure he’s had at any club. Between his managerial debut in 2003 and the end of a 90-day spell at Palermo in 2011, he had taken charge of and left eight different clubs.
With Pioli’s experience in European play is minimal, having coached Lazio in one round of Europa League play last season after they fell to Bayer Leverkusen in Champions League qualifiers.
As a player, Pioli played as a defender for a number of Italian clubs, spending the most time with Fiorentina, where he made 154 appearances over a six-year span.