Paulo Fonseca takes AC Milan coach job after leaving Lille

Roma pick up 5-2 win over AC Milan in friendly (1:57)

AS Roma put in five goals as they beat AC Milan in Perth, Australia during a club friendly. (1:57)

AC Milan have announced the hiring of Paulo Fonseca as their new head coach on a three-year contract.

Fonseca, who managed Lille to a fourth-placed finish in Ligue 1 in the 2023-24 season, takes over immediately and inherits a squad that finished second in Serie A under Stefano Pioli last term.

"I am proud to take on the role of AC Milan manager and I will work to honour this club and its great history," Fonseca said in a statement. "Together, we will strive for excellence and to write a new chapter of successes that I hope can be celebrated with our extraordinary fans. Forza Milan!"

Pioli was officially dismissed last month, two years after leading the Rossoneri to their first league title in 11 years.

Fonseca, 51, was also courted by Marseille but chose the northern Italian club as his next destination after two years with Lille. He established himself as a coach in his native Portugal with stints at Paços de Ferreira, Porto and Braga before enjoying success at Shakhtar Donetsk and Roma.

Milan legend Zlatan Ibrahimović, who joined the club's ownership group as an operational partner last year, spoke about Fonseca's hiring at a news conference on Thursday, and thanked Pioli for his service.

"I want to say thanks to Pioli, what he did will remain in history... We studied [Fonseca] a lot. He meets all the criteria we are looking for," the former Sweden international said. "We chose him to impart his identity onto the players we have and how we want the team to play. After 5 years we wanted to bring something new to the players.

"We considered coaches on the basis of their playing style and approach to the game. When we spoke face to face with Fonseca, it was clear that he is very ambitious and has a great desire to do well."

"At Milan we have a coach, not a manager," Ibrahimović added when asked about other options who were considered. "[Antonio] Conte? With the criteria we had, that's not what we were looking for."