Leonardo backs Milan boss Gattuso amid Conte links

Getty Images
Milan only signed their manager to a three-year deal in April and the new sporting director has no intention of parting with the 40-year-old just yet

New AC Milan sporting director Leonardo insisted Gennaro Gattuso is going nowhere, as he denied talking with Antonio Conte.

Gattuso's position has come under threat following Leonardo's appointment, with the former head coach reportedly seeking to lure ex-Chelsea boss Conte to the San Siro.

Milan only signed Gattuso to a three-year deal in April and Leonardo has no intention of parting with the 40-year-old just yet.

"My view is shared by the club, Gattuso was the first to be confirmed, this has never been up for discussion," said Leonardo, who arrived in Milan as the Serie A club continued to overhaul its senior hierarchy under new owners Elliott Management.

"It's normal that these things happen when great coaches are available, but none of us have talked to Conte.

"Gattuso has grown as a coach, he's a Milan man and we'll go from there."

Article continues below

Gattuso was promoted from his role as head coach of the Primavera team to replace Vincenzo Montella in November.

He went on to lead Milan to a sixth-placed finish in Serie A last season, enough to qualify for the Europa League.

That place in Europe appeared to be lost after the club received a ban from continental competitions, but was recently overturned , allowing Milan to compete in the Europa League this season.