Cagliari fires head coach Allegri

Cagliari made a surprise move by firing coach Massimiliano Allegri

on Tuesday with five games remaining in the Serie A.

Allegri had been lauded all season as one of the top young

coaches in the Italian league – winning a coach of the year award

in January – and was recently mentioned as a possible successor to

Marcello Lippi with Italy’s national team.

Despite virtually ensuring it will avoid relegation, Cagliari

has gone winless in its last nine games – drawing twice and losing

seven – prompting Cagliari president Massimo Cellino to make the

move.

The Sardinian side was in 12th place, nine points clear of

the relegation zone even after losing 1-0 to Juventus on Sunday.

Cagliari’s junior squad coach, Giorgio Melis, was appointed

to direct the team, aided by Gianluca Festa – a former defender

with Cagliari, Inter Milan and AS Roma.

In the 20-team league, this marks the 16th coaching change

this season.