Zlatan Ibrahimovic will bring a winning mentality back to Milan, according to Sampdoria coach Claudio Ranieri.

Ibrahimovic has returned to Milan for a second spell with the Serie A club after leaving Los Angeles Galaxy.

The 38-year-old spent 18 months with the Galaxy, scoring 53 Major League Soccer goals, and was linked to numerous clubs before settling on a return to San Siro, with Milan languishing in 11th place.

Having signed a deal until the end of the season, with an option for 2020-21, Ibrahimovic is likely to make his second Milan debut when the Rossoneri take on struggling Sampdoria on Monday, and Ranieri has no doubt the veteran forward will be a fantastic addition.

"I hope to start 2020 with a great performance and some points, although facing Ibrahimovic is never a good start to a year!" Ranieri said during a news conference on Saturday.

"Milan have a lot of quality players, so their current position in the table is inexplicable. They'll feel enthusiastic and Ibrahimovic brings a winning mentality.

"I am absolutely certain Ibra will play, probably from the start. San Siro will be fired up, so we require cool heads."

Bologna were one of the other Serie A sides interested in Ibrahimovic and their coach Sinisa Mihajlovic believes his club would have been a better fit for the former Sweden international.

"It is disappointing, because I think he’d have had more fun here," Bologna coach Mihajlovic told La Gazzetta dello Sport magazine Sportweek.

"It would've been good for him, for the city and the club, with the team playing to help set him up for goals. I have no complaints, because he had said that if he'd chosen Bologna, it would've been for me. I realise there are other factors at stake, including family commitments.

"Ibra did call me before making his decision, so he kept his word and remains a dear friend. It just means I'll have to beat him on the pitch now."

Milan coach Stefano Pioli said he was so overcome with emotion following Sinisa Mihajlovic's return to the Bologna bench on Sunday that he just wanted to hug his opposite number.

Mihajlovic was back on the touchline for the first time since a bone marrow transplant last month, having been diagnosed with leukaemia earlier in the year.

Bologna were unable to make Mihajlovic's return a victorious one, however, as Milan claimed a slender 3-2 win despite Nicola Sansone's late penalty leading to a tense finish.

But Pioli spoke with more enthusiasm about Mihajlovic than he did Milan's performance.

"It was a real pleasure to see him," Pioli told Sky Sport Italia. "I wanted to hug him, but he said it was better not to [due to his condition]. But it was still exciting, a nice moment.

"I hope he is on the way to full recovery now. Having that moment together touched me, it really did."

Krzysztof Piatek wore an expression of relief after he ended a goal drought that stretched back almost two months, opening the scoring with an early penalty after he had been tripped, and Pioli hopes that will help the Poland international's state of mind.

"He was a fundamental point of reference for us today," Pioli said of Piatek. "He won many duels and made an important impact for the team.

"We predicted Bologna would press high up the pitch, so we thought we'd have to play direct and he held the play up very well. He too will come out of this with more confidence."

Theo Hernandez endured a mixed match, becoming the first player since Opta records began to score a goal, an own goal and concede a penalty in the same Serie A game, with Giacomo Bonaventura's strike ultimately proving crucial as Milan took home the points.

Despite there being more negatives than positives about the defender's display, Pioli was mostly pleased.

"Especially in the offensive phase, Theo is very strong," Pioli remarked. "He has great timing of his forward runs, is strong physically and has a great left foot.

"He is the sort of player that can disrupt defensive balance in the opposition if he's got space to run into ahead of him."

Milan secured successive Serie A wins for only the second time this season as they won 3-2 away to Bologna, who had coach Sinisa Mihajlovic back on the bench for the first time since his bone marrow transplant last month.

Mihajlovic, who was diagnosed with leukaemia earlier in the year, received a huge ovation as he walked out pre-match, though his presence was not enough to inspire Bologna to a first league win over Milan since January 2016.

Milan's opening goal will have come as a relief to Krzysztof Piatek as the Poland international scored his first club goal for almost two months from the spot, before Theo Hernandez netted one at either end to put Bologna back in contention.

They were soon trailing by two once again in the second half thanks to Giacomo Bonaventura's sumptuous strike and that proved decisive, giving Bologna too much to do despite Nicola Sansone's late penalty restoring a modicum of hope.

Piatek ended his goal drought from the spot in the 15th minute, converting after being sent tumbling by Bologna defender Mattia Bani.

The hosts failed to mount much of a response and found their task made even trickier just past the half-hour mark, Hernandez beating the goalkeeper from close range after collecting Suso's wonderful disguised pass.

Hernandez found the wrong net late in the half, however, directing a corner past Gianluigi Donnarumma after Stefano Denswil had ducked under the ball.

But any hope of a Bologna comeback was effectively ended within a minute of the second half starting, as Bonaventura curled a fine effort into the left side of the goal from 20 yards.

Sansone's penalty – given after a VAR review – in the 84th minute following Hernandez' clumsy foul on Riccardo Orsolini ensured it was a nervous ending for Milan, but the visitors held on.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has informed Bologna of his willingness to consider joining them in January, according to the Serie A side's sporting director Riccardo Bigon.

Ibrahimovic this week confirmed his departure from LA Galaxy after two seasons in MLS.

The 38-year-old intends to see out his career in Italy, Galaxy head coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto claimed, and will not be short on options given his free agent status.

AC Milan, Fiorentina and Napoli are among those to have been linked but Bologna could have the inside running thanks to Ibrahimovic's rapport with Rossoblu boss Sinisa Mihajlovic, who crossed paths with the Swede at Inter.

"There is a month and a half to go until to the transfer window opens," Bigon told Sky Sport Italia.

"As has been said, Ibrahimovic and the coach have a strong personal relationship.

"He expressed an openness to the idea of ​​coming to Bologna but now he will take time, after announcing the farewell to MLS, to evaluate all the possibilities for his future.

"We are very fascinated by this situation but it is clear that we do not control it 100 per cent.

"The choice is exclusively down to the player. We will wait in case [Ibrahimovic confirms his interest], then we will be ready and more than positive."

Bologna coach Sinisa Mihajlovic has started chemotherapy following his leukaemia diagnosis.

The 50-year-old announced at a news conference on Saturday he had been diagnosed with cancer.

However, Mihajlovic confirmed he is to remain in charge at the club regardless.

Former Yugoslavia international Mihajlovic began receiving treatment on Thursday, with the club informing supporters the coach is in "daily" contact with his colleagues.

A statement from Bologna read: "Three days after the admission of Sinisa Mihajlovic to the haematology department of the Istituto Seragnoli of the Policlinico Sant'Orsola, the typing of the disease was concluded: it is a mainly myeloid acute leukaemia.

"Mihajlovic started the chemotherapy treatment today [Thursday]. Despite the tests and treatments, the technician is in direct daily contact with his colleagues in Castelrotto [Bologna's base]."

Bologna head coach Sinisa Mihajlovic has confirmed he has been diagnosed with leukaemia.

The 50-year-old made the announcement at a media conference on Saturday alongside Bologna director Walter Sabatini.

Bologna confirmed Mihajlovic's contract will remain in place while he begins treatment.

"Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, we did some tests and discovered some anomalies that weren't there four months ago," said the former Inter boss.

"We said I had a fever and the hardest thing was to convince my wife that it was true: I have leukaemia.

"I spent the night crying and I still have tears now, but I'm not afraid. I'll go to hospital and I can't wait to start fighting. I explained to my players that I will fight to win, as I've taught them to do on the pitch.

"I'll win this challenge, no doubt about it. I want to thank all of Bologna for making me understand that I'm a member of the family, and I'll also need them to win this battle. But I'll also need to see people not crying for me. I don't want pity.

"My father died of cancer, so I always get tested regularly. If we hadn't performed these tests, I wouldn't have shown any symptoms for a year. 

"None of us must think we are indestructible. All of us think, 'It won't happen to me', but when it does, it's a big shock. Your only hope then is to anticipate it, because if you discover it after two months or after a year, that makes a big difference.

"So, if I, as a famous person, can go through this, I hope it can help others to get themselves checked, to prepare and to realise that it can happen to anyone. I was perfectly healthy in every way and yet here I am.

"It changes your life in a moment. Everything changes in a moment. When you sleep and have a nightmare, you wake up, but for days you wake up and realise this isn't a nightmare, this is real.

"I hope, after winning this battle, I'll be able to talk it over with you all and look back on this period. Nothing has been given to me in life - I've had to fight for everything. I'll fight this, too."

Sabatini added: "Sinisa will hold Bologna in his hands, and Bologna will hold Sinisa, until the end of his contract.

"Whatever happens in the coming days, Mihajlovic will remain the coach of Bologna."

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