MILAN, Italy (AP)Giorgio Furlani will replace the outgoing Ivan Gazidis as AC Milan CEO, the club said on Friday.

Gazidis will leave the Serie A champion after four years when his contract expires next month.

Furlani, a lifelong Milan fan and from the city, was promoted from the board of directors by new owner Gerry Cardinale.

”I want to thank Gerry and the RedBird team for giving me the great honor of leading the club I love as it embarks on the next phase of its revival,” Furlani said.

Milan ended its 11-year wait for the Serie A title last year and lies second in the league. It is also through to the Champions League knockout stages for the first time in nine years.

RedBird Capital Partners, which was founded by Cardinale, recently bought Milan from fellow American firm Elliott Management. Furlani had been at Elliott since 2010 but will step down from his role there to take up his new position.

”Giorgio knows both the club and the city intimately and has established the trust and confidence of the team at Casa Milan over the last four years,” Cardinale said. ”This will enable him to transition to this new leadership role seamlessly so that we can keep our focus on the larger goals ahead of us.

”We have a clear vision for this next chapter in the AC Milan story, and the RedBird team will be hands-on owners in partnership with Giorgio and the full team at Casa Milan in realizing this vision.”

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