Massimiliano Allegri could return to steady Juventus’ sinking ship, Julian Nagelsmann is ready for a step up and club legend Zinedine Zidane seems open to the move… if Andrea Pirlo is given the axe, who might take over in Turin?
- Andrea Pirlo’s Juventus are floundering in Serie A and out of Champions League
- Former mercurial playmaker has struggled in the dugout so far this season
- He could be heading for the exit and Italian giants are considering options
- Julian Nagelsmann and Massimiliano Allegri are both among the contenders
Andrea Pirlo has not been as sure-footed in management as he was during his glittering playing career.
The Juventus boss has presided over his former side’s worst campaign for more than a decade and appears to be heading for the exit.
So, if Pirlo is given the axe, who could replace him and take charge of Italy’s most successful club?
Andrea Pirlo is under huge pressure and could be sacked if Juventus lose to Napoli
Cristiano Ronaldo and Co have not performed for their manager so far this season
If Wednesday night goes horribly wrong for Pirlo, the next cab off the rank will be Tudor.
The Croatian assistant at the moment and would step up to fill the void while Juve search for their next permanent boss.
It is not entirely unheard of in these circumstances for an interim manager to impress so much they end up landing the job on a full-time basis (see Ole Gunnar Solskjaer).
Tudor would be a popular appointment as a cult hero among Juventus fans and he remains hugely popular from his eight seasons at the club.
But there would be skepticism about his ability as a top level manager.
He has worked at Hajduk Split, PAOK, Karabükspor, Galatasaray and Udinese but the Juventus job would be a massive step up so it’s unlikely he’d land the role, particularly when the club have the summer to bring in a replacement.
Igor Tudor is a cult hero with Juventus fans and would slot in as interim manager
Allegri has plenty of credit in the bank and is reportedly already in discussions about the possibility of coming back.
Juventus are in a fight for fourth place and to miss out on Champions League qualification would be a disaster.
If Allegri was to be parachuted back in, the club would be hugely confident of a strong finish to the season.
Former Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri could make a return to the dugout
He remains out of work and has been considering his next move carefully. Crucially, chairman Andrea Agnelli invited Allegri to watch Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Torino in the derby.
Allegri, 53, led Juve to five consecutive Serie A titles between 2014 and 2019. The club then decided to go in a different direction with more ambitious, attractive football.
But Mauritzio Sarri only lasted one term and Pirlo is hanging by a thread. Reports in the Italian press claim that informal talks among the board have already started about bringing Allegri back. It would be no surprise at all if that was the direction the club went in next.
The likes a flashy suit and even flashier football so could fit right in at Juventus. He’s listed by Betfair as short as 6/1 to be the next permanent manager at the club.
Nagelsmann is hot managerial property having cut his teeth with Hoffenheim and then impressed with RB Leipzig.
He’s regarded as a prodigy in coaching terms and despite never enjoying a playing career of any note, has a burgeoning reputation.
The German may feel there is a shelf life with Leipzig and the chance to manage Cristiano Ronaldo and Co would be almost too good to turn down.
That said, Nagelsmann will soon have his pick of big jobs among Europe’s elite and he might see an aging Juventus team as a poor next choice.
Julian Nagelsmann is one of the most exciting managerial talents in a generation
The German has led RB Leipzig impressively but they are still off the pace in the Bundesliga
They are expected to win Serie A every year so sky high expectations leave little room for growth or failure.
If Juventus were to coming knocking on Nagelsmann’s door, perhaps it would be them selling the club to him rather than the other way around.
Leipzig are seven points behind leaders Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga and were well beaten by Liverpool in the Champions League last 16. It remains to be seen how far Nagelsmann thinks he can take the German upstarts.
A Juventus legend having made 214 appearances for the club over five years from 2001.
Zidane’s Real side are still in the LaLiga title race and can never be written off in the Champions League, especially after their impressive 3-1 home win over Liverpool in the first leg on Tuesday.
The Frenchman gave some revealing comments after that game when asked about managing Juventus.
He said with a coy smile: ‘Future at Juve? I don’t know. For now I’m here, we’ll see.
Zinedine Zidane gave some revealing comments about the Juventus job on Tuesday
The Frenchman is a club legend having spent five years with the club from 2001
‘Well, we’ll see,’ he previously said two months ago. ‘The important thing is, I said it to the other reporters, we’re just focused on this season.
‘I just focus on the day-to-day, today, tomorrow, the game. As for the rest, I don’t know what’s going to happen.’
His comments will no doubt have alerted those at the Italian club and it would be a logical next step for Zidane having achieved so much success at the Bernabeu.
A rebuilding job needs to be done with the Spanish side and perhaps Zidane feels it is a natural time to walk away this summer.
Hang on a sec? Guardiola is on course for the quadruple with Manchester City, he’s not exactly the obvious choice here…
But the bookies have him as a 6/1 favourite to take the hotseat next in Turin.
Having conquered LaLiga with Barcelona, the Bundesliga with Bayern Munich and the Premier League with City, it would be no surprise to see him end up at Juventus at some point.
But it would only work in theory at the end of this season.
Pep Guardiola has led Manchester City to an exceptional season with the quadruple in play
Perhaps if City did manage to pull off an incredible quadruple, or even just double up with the Premier League and Champions League, Guardiola might feel it is a natural time to go.
But on the other hand, he could feel as though the dynasty at the Etihad is only truly getting started. He finally has a settled defence and should Erling Haaland come in, they would be odds on to dominate British football again next season.
Last November, Guardiola extended his contract to 2023 and has spoken about how happy he is at the club.
It would be a major coup if Juventus managed to lure him to Italy and the timing feels off.
Top level managers don’t grow on trees and often timing plays a significant part in recruitment.
He is currently looking for his next opportunity and recently said: ‘I want to find a club with ambition, one either competing for titles or looking for a serious project that will lead to that later.
‘I always say that the key to success is balance – both on the pitch between defence and attack, but also in the management of the club.’
Rafael Benitez is looking for his next opportunity having returned from China
Juventus will be after a proven manager to steady the ship and if Allegri is not interested in coming back, Benitez feels like a really solid option.
He is thought to prefer a return to the Premier League but it feels unlikely that the Spaniard would turn Juventus down if offered the job.
Having most recently worked in the Chinese Super League with Dalian, the 60-year-old is content to take time out to be with his family before the next offer lands on his lap.
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