Zidane 'lined up as Pirlo replacement' in sensational Juventus return link

Juventus are reportedly strongly considering turning to their former legendary player Zinedine Zidane as a managerial replacement for Andrea Pirlo at the end of the campaign.

The pressure is mounting on Pirlo amid Juve’s disappointing season, which sees the Italian giants sitting down in third place in Serie A and in serious danger of failing to qualify for next season’s Champions League.

They also crashed out of Europe’s elite competition at the last-16 stage following a shock defeat to FC Porto, and it looks highly likely Pirlo will depart in the near future.

This will leave Juve searching for his successor, and according to Italian outlet Tuttosport Zidane could well be the man they make their No.1 choice.

Andrea Pirlo is under pressure at Juventus
Andrea Pirlo is under pressure at Juventus

The Frenchman’s future at Real Madrid is far from certain after Los Blancos were knocked out of the Champions League by Chelsea in the semi-finals, although they still have a chance of winning La Liga.

Zidane spent five seasons at Juve as a player between 1996-2001, during which time he was considered one of the finest midfielders in the world.

And he would certainly be a popular appointment with fans of the club, and may well himself fancy a return to Turin.

It could also lead to the fascinating prospect of Zidane linking up once again with former Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo.

Zidane is thought to have an exit clause in his Madrid contract, and could activate it if he feels he is in need of a change of scene.

One sticking issue could be over pay, however, with Juve unlikely to be able to afford the whopping £10.5m per season which Zidane currently earns in Spain.

Zinedine Zidane could link up with his former player Cristiano Ronaldo again
Zinedine Zidane could link up with his former player Cristiano Ronaldo again

For now, however, Zidane will be fully focused on the La Liga title chase, with a potentially decisive weekend ahead.

Madrid are just two points behind leaders Atletico, who take on third-placed Barcelona on Saturday.

Zidane’s side, meanwhile, face fellow title challengers Sevilla on Sunday knowing that a victory could put them top of the table, while a defeat may see their hopes all but extinguished.


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