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Serie A

Struggling Inter Milan turn to Pioli as new coach

Stefano Pioli will become the ninth coach in six years, since Jose Mourinho's departure, seeking to return Inter to winning ways. The 51-year-old's first game in charge will be the derby against AC Milan.

Inter Milan appointed former Lazio mastermind Pioli on Tuesday as their third coach in just four months, following Dutchman Frank de Boer's short-lived tenure.

"F.C. Internazionale is delighted to confirm that terms have been agreed with Stefano Pioli to become Inter's new head coach until 30 June 2018," a statement from the club said. 

Pioli will be publicly unveiled on Thursday in Milan; he brings a group of junior coaching staff with him. 

Disintegrating after Jose

Since winning the treble with Jose Mourinho in the 2009/10 season, Inter have burned through eight head coaches - not including incoming Pioli. The club has not won major trophies since 2011, undergoing two changes of ownership in that time. De Boer, the latest in the line of luckless bosses, had only started his work in August.

The former Ajax coach was dismissed after Inter lost five of their first 11 league games, winning only four. The club currently sits ninth in the table, 13 points adrift of Juventus. In Europa League football, Internazionale also sit bottom in their group with just two games left to salvage their spot.

Fußball Suning Commerce übernimmt Inter Mailand (picture-alliance/dpa/VCG/MAXPPP)

After a stint in Indonesian hands, Chinese interests bought a controlling stake in Inter this year

Youth team coach Stefano Vecci had taken charge of the side for the games against Southampton (a 2-1 defeat) and Crotone (a 3-0 win) while Inter looked for a replacement for de Boer. Despite attempts to woo Marcelino, Gianfranco Zola and even Laurent Blanc, Pioli emerged as the front-runner for the vacant post before long. 

Central defender turned tactician

Inter captain and star striker Mauro Icardi said after the victory against Crotone that he would favor an Italian coach: "It is better if it's an Italian who takes over because he will know the Italian championship."

Perhaps best known for his time with Fiorentina, Pioli played in central defense during the 1980s and 90s, starting with Parma and moving on to Juventus while still a teenager. Never capped for Italy, he notched up more than 300 league appearances.

Best known for propelling Lazio to third in the table in the 2014/15 season as a coach, Pioli was sacked after a 4-1 derby defeat to AS Roma in April this year. His time at Inter will start as the Lazio spell ended - his first game in charge will be the derby against AC Milan at the San Siro on November 20.

msh/dr (AFP, AP, Reuters)