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Genoa sack Ballardini, Shevchenko set to step in – report

Rome (AFP) – Struggling Serie A side Genoa sacked coach Davide Ballardini on Saturday with reports identifying former AC Milan striker Andriy Shevchenko as his likely successor.

Genoa, languishing 17th after one win in a dozen games, gave credence to suggestions they were pursuing Shevchenko by officially axing Ballardini.

The 57-year-old Ballardini returned to the Italian club for his fourth stint as their manager in December last year.

Despite keeping Genoa in the top flight last season, Ballardini has been unable to win over the side’s new American backers, 777 Partners, who took over Genoa in September.

They are keen to usher in a new era at the club and domestic media have named Shevchenko as the favourite to take over the Genoa hot seat.

Shevchenko, 45 and the winner of the 2004 Ballon d’Or, is apparently preferred to his former Milan teammate, Andrea Pirlo, out of work since his sacking by Juventus in May.

Shevchenko is available since standing down as Ukraine coach this summer.

This would be his first club management role after coaching his national team for the past five years.

He guided Ukraine to the Euro 2020 quarter-finals, losing to England 4-0.

Noted in Italy for his elegance and innate ball sense Shevchenko scored 175 goals in 324 matches in his trophy-laden years with Milan, twice emerging as Serie A’s top scorer.

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