Pirlo linked to Juventus coaching job – reports

Milan (AFP) – Former Italy and Juventus star Andrea Pirlo could be set to take over from Maurizio Sarri as coach of the Italian champions, according to multiple reports in Italy on Saturday.

Sarri, 61, was sacked after just one season as the nine-time reigning Serie A champions crashed out of the Champions League in the last 16 to French club Lyon.

Sky Sport Italia and Gazzetta Dello Sport reported that Pirlo could be set to take over the first team, having being appointed coach of the U23 side, who play in the third division, last month.

The 41-year-old has no previous coaching experience, but is reported to be holding a meeting with Juventus president Andrea Agnelli in Turin on Saturday.

A midfielder, Pirlo began his playing career at Brescia and went on to play for Inter, AC Milan and Juve before moving in 2015 for two seasons with New York City FC in the MLS.

During his four seasons with Juventus he won Serie A four times and one Italian Cup.

Capped 116 times for Italy, Pirlo was a key figure in the team that won the 2006 World Cup. He also won two Champions Leagues and two league titles with Milan during his 22-year playing career.

Other candidates being touted to replace Sarri are Lazio coach Simone Inzaghi, Real Madrid’s Zinedine Zidane and former Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino.

There is also speculation about a possible return of Massimiliano Allegri, who led Juventus to five Serie A titles and two Champions League finals, before being replaced by Sarri last season.

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