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Gennaro Gattuso PHOTO:AFP

AC Milan have rewarded coach Gennaro Gattuso for an upturn in the club’s fortunes with a contract that will see him remain at the helm until 2021.

“Gennaro Gattuso and AC Milan: the alliance continues! The Rossoneri coach has renewed his contract and will continue to lead the team until 2021,” said a statement on the club’s official website Thursday.

The appointment of Gattuso on a seven-month contract was met with general surprise when he succeeded the experienced Vincenzo Montella last November — due mainly to the fact he had failed to impress in previous coaching roles with lower league sides.

But the 40-year-old Gattuso, who earned a reputation as a tenacious midfielder in 468 appearances for the San Siro giants, has stubbornly kept Milan challenging for a place in Europe this season as the seven-times European champions, taken over by a Chinese consortium last year, look to return to the heights of European football.

Thanks to a run of 10 games without defeat — only ended in a 3-1 loss at Juventus last week — Milan sit sixth in Serie A, 27 points behind leaders Juventus and eight behind city rivals Inter in the fourth Champions League qualifying spot.

Without a league title since 2011, Milan’s aim this season is to reach the Champions League and the Italian Cup final.

The statement added: “The management decided to anticipate Gattuso’s contract renewal to reward his hard work the best way before the end of the…



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