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New Juventus boss Andrea Pirlo was the cheap option with Pochettino and Zidane’s wages too steep

Andrea Pirlo was named as the Juventus manager on Saturday night but only after president Andrea Agnelli decided he could not afford first choices Mauricio Pochettino and Zinedine Zidane.

Former Tottenham boss Pochettino reportedly wanted around £8m (€9m) a year to take the reigns in Turin, while Real Madrid head coach Zidane would have asked for even more, at around £10.8m (€12m).

As well as economic reasons, particularly given sacked coach Maurizio Sarri’s £21m pay-off, Pirlo has a similar on-field mentality to previous successful Juventus managers Antonio Conte and Massimiliano Allegri, which has worked in his favour with Agnelli. 

Pirlo, of course, played under both Conte and Allegri during the latter stages of his career, and the beginning of Juve’s domination of Serie A in the past decade.

The board also received the backing of senior players Giorgio Chiellini, Cristiano Ronaldo and Gianluigi Buffon to appoint Pirlo. 

In addition, Pirlo shares the same vision as Allegri in terms of combining an offensive philosophy with solidity at the back.  

The 41-year-old, who only re-joined the club in a coaching capacity with the Under-23s 10 days ago, has only taken a slight increase in his contract signed at the end of July too.  

Sarri was sacked after just one season into a three-year contract at Juve, following the club’s exit from the Champions League on Friday night after defeat on away goals to Lyon. 

Pirlo will reportedly take on former director of the Italian national team Simone Baroio as his assistant, with the 2020-21 Serie A season set to start on September 19.  

The choice of Pirlo is also confirmation of the club’s willingness to continue the philosophy from above set out by Chief Football Officer Fabio Paratici and vice-president Pavel Nedved.  

Pirlo made over 100 appearances in the famous black and white stripes of Juventus, after signing for the club from AC Milan in 2011.

Renowned as one of the finest playmakers in football history, Pirlo departed Italy in 2015 when he left the club to finish his career in MLS with New York City FC.  

Juve remain desperate to win the Champions League, after failing to lift the European Cup since the 1995-96 season when they defeated Ajax in the final.

They made the final again in 2015, when they were beaten by Barcelona in Pirlo’s final match for the club.

And since his retirement, despite continuous domestic success, Juve have failed on the European stage, also losing the 2017 Champions League final to Real Madrid in Cardiff. 

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