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25th Jul 2018

Ivan Gazidis to leave Arsenal to become AC Milan executive director, say reports

The Italian club has recently been taken over by an American hedge fund

Wayne Farry

The South African could be set to join the Italian giants in September

It has been a summer of change at Arsenal, with Arsene Wenger leaving the club after more than two decades as manager and rumours recently suggesting that shareholder Alisher Usmanov is looking to sell off his stake in the club after more than a decade.

That flux could be set to increase even further with reports in Italy suggesting that club chief executive Ivan Gazidis is set to take over as executive director of Serie A side AC Milan.

Sky Italia is reporting that Milan’s new owners, American hedge fund called Elliot Management, are interested in recruiting Gazidis to lead the club to a new era of success, after years of mismanagement under previous owners.

Upon Elliot Management’s takeover of the club, previous CEO Marco Fassone left his role at the club, with chairman Paolo Scaroni currently acting in the role.

Despite the links, earlier in the month an Arsenal spokesperson told the Arsenal website Arseblog that the club was unaware of any approach from the Italian club.

In a recent interview during the club’s pre-season tour, new manager Emery stated that he hopes and believes that Gazidis will stay at the Emirates: “I speak every day with him. He has been committed here for many, many years. I think he continues here because it is a big project here and his commitment to Arsenal is very strong. We are speaking about every decision for our club.”

Gazidis assumed his role at Arsenal in January 2009, and has guided the club through a period of serious upheaval in that time, with numerous structural and personnel changes taking place, particularly in recent years.

He was a member of the founding management team of Major League Soccer in 1994, before becoming the league’s deputy commissioner in 2001.