Ugwu ends Pilgrims loan stay

Gian Piero Gasperini has left Palermo for the second time in six

weeks as Serie A’s bottom club prepare to make a fifth managerial

appointment of the current season.

In what is fast becoming a farcical season at the Stadio Renzo

Barbera, Gasperini departs by mutual consent only 15 days and two

games after returning to the hotseat on February 24.

The 55-year-old was reinstated after Alberto Malesani’s brief

19-day reign, which started on February 5 and comprised only three

games, but a goalless draw at Torino and Sunday’s 2-1 home defeat

to relegation rivals Siena have persuaded former Inter Milan boss

Gasperini to move on.

A statement published on read: “After a meeting

between adminstrative director Giorgio Perinetti and Gian Piero

Gasperini, Palermo can announce it has reached an agreement for a

consensual termination of the coach’s contract.

“The owner has tasked the director with assessing who should

take control of the first-team squad.”

Reports in Italy suggest the Rosanero will now turn to

Napoli-born coach Giuseppe Sannino, who started the season in

charge of the Sicilian club only to be sacked after three


The Neapolitan tactician would return to the Renzo Barbera

almost six months after he became president Maurizio Zamparini’s

first casualty of the season on September 16.

Gasperini then claimed three wins from 20 games to leave the

Sicilians in 19th place upon his original departure, with UEFA

Cup-winning coach Malesani appointed the next day.

Malesani could not improve Palermo’s fortunes, however, with

three points from three draws leaving the Rosanero bottom of the

table and ushering in the fleeting return of Gasperini.

Zamparini told the Corriere dello Sport early on Monday: “We

won’t be able to save ourselves now, it’s folly to think we can do


“We would need a lot of luck and for our players to act as if

they’re men rather than baby food. I don’t know what they are made


“I’m not giving up but the maths reads otherwise. In my 30 years

in football I faced relegation twice with Venezia and on both

occasions we returned to Serie A.”

The first task for Gasperini’s replacement is a trip to face

third-placed AC Milan at the San Siro on Sunday.

Palermo are currently tied for last place with Pescara on 21

points and five points from safety.

The 19-year-old’s stay at Home Park from the Premier League side

has been hampered by a number of injury concerns.

“Reading feel that it would be better to have Gozie back at the

Madejski Stadium with the Royals’ Under 21 development squad so

that they can best monitor his progress,” a Pilgrims statement