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 palermocalcio.it 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