Andrea Pirlo could end his glittering career in the Barclays Premier League after it emerged his Juventus future is shrouded in uncertainty. Despite his brilliant form since joining Juventus from AC Milan two years ago Italy’s midfield maestro is effectively on trial for the next three months as coach Antonio Conte assesses whether he merits another contract. If the decision goes against him it is widely expected he will seek a fresh start abroad with England and Spain joint top of his wish list. A free agent at the end of the season it is understood Juventus would consider releasing him in January if new terms are not forthcoming in recognition of his significant contribution to two successive Serie A titles. It raises the intriguing prospect of Manchester United possibly seeing him as the injection of midfield craft they so desperately need or Chelsea who almost signed him in his Milan days Arsenal or Tottenham offering him the chance to bolster their title campaigns. In Spain the Bernabeu would be his likeliest destination given his close relationship with Carlo Ancelotti. Pirlo discussed the possibility of moving to Stamford Bridge when Ancelotti was in charge and would need little persuading to link up again with his former Milan boss at Real Madrid. However Sportsmail understands starting opportunities will be the key factor in the 34-year old’s deliberations and that could count against Real given their wealth of options in midfield. Though Pirlo has been a pivotal figure in Juve’s dominance of Serie A over the past two seasons Conte has begun to harbour doubts over whether he can continue to exert the same influence on their bid for a hat-trick of titles. He has been substituted in Juve’s last two games in stark contrast to last season when he was replaced only once in the entire campaign. If that suggests the writing is on the wall for the outstanding player at Euro ’ 12 he will be kept waiting for a verdict on his Juve future. Conte will monitor his form and physical condition over the next three months before sitting down with him at the end of December or early January and announcing his findings. Should Pirlo sense he is becoming a bit-part player in Conte’s plans he will need no persuading to uproot and look for one last contract in England or Spain. After already playing for both Milan clubs as well as Juventus in a career that has brought him over 100 Italy caps he is believed to favour testing himself abroad rather than remaining in Serie A. He is also determined to prove Conte wrong. The Juve coach evidently feels age may be catching up with him and that his once-peerless ability to keep possession and find a team-mate regardless of pressure from opponents may be starting to desert him. For his part Pirlo remembers how his declining fortunes were kick-started by joining Juventus in the summer of 2011 and is beginning to feel another new challenge could have the same revitalising effect. As he waits for word from Conte he is unlikely to be short of offers.
Italy hero Pirlo could be set for move to England as Juve stall on new deal
Daily Mail | Sep 25