- Associated Press - Thursday, June 4, 2015

MILAN (AP) - Sinisa Mihajlovic is near to being announced as the new coach of struggling AC Milan, after Filippo Inzaghi was fired in a widely expected move.

Mihajlovic met with Milan president Silvio Berlusconi late Wednesday and an announcement on his appointment could come by the end of the week.

Milan said that with “great displeasure” it informed Inzaghi of his ouster Thursday.

In his first season in charge, Inzaghi led Milan to a dismal 10th-place finish. Still, having been a standout player for Milan, Inzaghi commands respect within the club.

Mihajlovic announced on Monday that he was stepping down at Sampdoria after guiding the Genoa club to seventh.

But as a former player for Inter Milan, and cohort of current Inter coach Roberto Mancini, Mihajlovic apparently needed to convince Berlusconi that he will be entirely dedicated to the “Rossoneri.”

The 46-year-old Mihajlovic took over at Sampdoria in November 2013. He previously coached Bologna, Catania, Fiorentina and Serbia’s national team. The Serbian was also a standout fullback as a player for Sampdoria and Lazio, known for his skill on free kicks.

Former Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti, who was recently fired by Real Madrid, rejected offers to return to the Rossoneri.

Milan made it clear for weeks that Inzaghi was on his way out, openly courting Ancelotti during a series of meetings between the former Madrid coach and Rossoneri vice president Adriano Galliani in Spain.

Sagging financially and with Berlusconi no longer buying the world’s top players, Milan has struggled for several seasons. Since winning Serie A in 2011, Milan has finished second, third, eighth, and now 10th - thus failing to qualify for Europe for a second consecutive season.

Milan has plans to build a new stadium, although nothing has been finalized yet.

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