Napoli coach Gattuso's sister dies aged 37

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Aden - Yasmine El Tohamy - Former AC Milan coach Gennaro Gattuso took over at Napoli in December. - AFP file

Francesca, who worked for many years as a secretary at AC Milan, passed away due to a rare illness after four months in hospital

Napoli coach Gennaro Gattuso's sister Francesca has died at the age of 37 after four months in hospital, the Serie A club and AC Milan where she worked said on Tuesday.

Francesca Gattuso, who worked for many years as a secretary at AC Milan, died at Busto Arsizio, 40km north of the city.

She suffered from a rare illness and underwent the last in a series of operations in early February. She had been in intensive care since.

"Francesca Gattuso faced her illness with the same strength and energy she brought to Milanello and AC Milan every day," AC Milan said in a statement. 

"Rino (Gennaro Gattuso), the immense pain you and your family are feeling is also ours. Rest in peace, dear Francesca."

Napoli said: "All of SSC Napoli strongly embrace Rino Gattuso and share in his immense pain. We are all close to you in heart dear Rino."

Former Italy World Cup winner Gattuso played for 13 years with AC Milan, winning ten trophies including two Serie A and two Champions League crowns.

The 42-year-old also coached the team from 2017 to 2019.

"The Gattuso family will always be in AC Milan's heart," the team added.

"Rino had passed his passion for Milanello on to Francesca and she always embraced and cherished the Rossoneri values."

Former AC Milan coach Gattuso replaced Carlo Ancelotti at Napoli last December.

Napoli are sixth in the table with Serie A set to resume on June 20 after a three-month coronavirus suspension.

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