Juventus have struggled in the 2020/21 season. The Italian giants have failed to defend the Serie A title for the first time in nine years as Inter Milan were crowned champions in early May with four matches to spare.
Juve boss Andrea Pirlo is now expected to leave the club at the end of the season. Failure in the club’s title defence, and the possibility of missing out on Champions League football next season, are factors in the coach losing his job. The Old Lady were also eliminated in the last 16 of the Champions League, losing 5-3 on aggregate to FC Porto.
One saving grace for Pirlo is that his side reached the final of the Coppa Italia. They face Atalanta on Wednesday evening with the hope of claiming some silverware in the 2020/21 season. But, winning the Coppa Italia could not be enough to prevent Pirlo from the sack. Several candidates have reportedly been shortlisted by the Juventus hierarchy to replace Pirlo.
One of the current favourites with the bookies at asiabet8888 for the Juventus job is Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane. The French coach made over 200 appearances for Juve in his playing career, and he has been linked with a return as manager in recent years. Juventus chairman Andrea Agnelli wanted to hire Zidane in 2019 before returning for a second stint in Madrid.
Zidane has a strong history in the Champions League with Madrid. He guided the club to three consecutive titles between 2016 and 2018, which would be a big appeal for Juventus, who have not won Europe’s elite competitions since 1996.
The former French legend has all of the credentials to succeed at Juventus. However, a potential stumbling block could be Zidane’s costly salary, rumoured to be around £10.5 million a year.
Current Napoli boss Genaro Gattuso is expected to leave the club at the end of the season. Gattuso is well experienced in Serie A, having led AC Milan between 2017 and 2019, before taking the Napoli job in December 2019.
The former AC Milan midfielder won the Coppa Italia last season with Napoli, and his side are currently fourth in Serie A. He is also regarded as a more affordable option by Juventus in comparison to Zidane. Serie A rivals Fiorentina have reportedly held talks with Gattuso. But Juventus could also move for the coach. The club’s hierarchy are reportedly impressed with the Gattuso’s performance at Napoli.
Max Allegri is another option for Juventus. The Italian coach enjoyed a successful spell at the Allianz Stadium between 2014 and 2019, winning five straight Serie A titles and four Coppa Italia’s before leaving the club ahead of the 2019/20 season.
Allegri is rumoured to replace Pirlo as the 53-year-old is in tune with the club’s vision after a successful first spell. His previous experience of bringing through young players, such as Alvaro Morata, Kingsley Coman and Moise Kean, could work in his favour. Young starlets Matthijs de Ligt, Federico Chiesa, Dejan Kulusevski could all benefit under the experienced coach.
With Pirlo’s departure at the end of the season, Juventus have strong candidates shortlisted for the 2021/22 season. However, the club will have to weigh up the balance between cost and experience. Expectations at the Turin club are exceedingly high, and the new manager would be expected to reclaim the Serie A title and make the latter stages of the Champions League.