AC Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri has confirmed he will quit the Serie A giants at the end of the season.
For the second successive season Milan struggled to impress in Italy's top flight in the run-up to the festive break and currently sit 13th, 17 points off the nearest UEFA Champions League qualifying spot held by third-placed Napoli.
Speaking a day ahead of Milan's first game of the year, at home to Atalanta, Allegri said he informed club vice-president Adriano Galliani of his irrevocable decision prior to Christmas. But the 46-year-old, who won the 2011 title with Milan in his first season in charge, has stressed the need for his players' commitment until the end of the season if the club are to avoid a relegation fight.
"I want to finish my four-year spell with Milan in the best way possible, we'll see what happens but I've made my decision and I won't change my mind," said Allegri. "I made up my mind in the summer and informed Galliani prior to Christmas. You can't stay at a club forever. In my four years here, I believe I've done a good job."
With his side only nine points ahead of bottom side Catania but only six behind Torino, in seventh, Allegri said Monday's game at the San Siro will be crucial for Milan's top flight status. "We can't forget we only have 19 points, we have to look (at the clubs) behind us, it's a match that will be crucial if we are to stay up," he added. "We're all professionals and we all owe it to the club to be fully committed until the end of the season."