Juventus confirm Massimiliano Allegri’s return as manager

Juventus have confirmed the return of Massimiliano Allegri as manager following the dismissal of Andrea Pirlo.

Allegri left the club back in 2019 and was replaced by Maurizio Sarri who flattered to deceive in his sole season in charge despite claiming Juve’s ninth successive Scudetto crown.

Pirlo then took the reins last summer and despite the Bianconeri ending the 2020/21 campaign with two pieces of silverware, Andrea Agnelli & Co. have opted to make another change.

Ahead of the Allegri announcement, Juventus confirmed the sacking of Pirlo.

Andrea Pirlo’s sacking confirmed in Juventus statement

A kind club statement read (via The Athletic):

“A few months ago, Andrea Pirlo, an icon of world football, began his new adventure, his first as a coach.

“To do this, first of all, it takes courage, as well as awareness of one’s own means, especially in a period marked by thousands of difficulties, with the world forced by the pandemic to reinvent its own rules day after day.

“Pirlo has just begun the first steps of what will no doubt become a brilliant career as a coach. An adventure of transformation, seeking, and often managing, to bring his ideas and his experience as a champion on the pitch from the “other side” of the fence.

“And since in football, what counts are the victories, let’s remember them: in the space of a few short months, Pirlo’s Juve has raised two trophies: The Italian Supercup and the Coppa Italia. And he, as coach, brought home brilliant victories on the most prestigious of fields, from San Siro to Camp Nou.”

He’s baaaaackkkkkk!

Juventus then welcomed back Allegri with a statement:

“Massimiliano Allegri is the Juventus manager once more.

“Allegri finds a bench that he knows very well, a club that he loves and that loves him back, as today a new journey begins together, towards new goals…

“Now we are ready to begin again with Allegri, to build our future together; with his enormous professionalism, his moral strength, with the brilliant ideas of a coach capable of shuffling the cards, both on and off the pitch. With his smile, a sort of “signature”. With his way of understanding football and life with simplicity, with his desire to play things down and with the commitment to enjoy every beautiful moment that being at Juventus can give and will give.

“Let’s start again together. Let’s start again with Max. Welcome home, coach!” the statement concluded.

Terms of the deal

Following weeks of speculation, Fabrizio Romano earlier reported that a “verbal agreement” between Juve and Allegri had been reached on Thursday morning.

The four-time Serie A Coach of the Year guided the Bianconeri to five straight Serie A titles and a pair of Champions League finals in 2015 and 2017 following Antonio Conte’s exit in 2014.

Revered for his pragmatism and flexibility, the 53-year-old is faced with a completely different task compared to when he first walked into the job seven years ago. While he successfully built on the foundations laid by Conte throughout his first stint, Allegri has been designated the role of guiding the club through a period of transition on this occasion.

His goal will be to rebuild a title-winning team in Turin after the Bianconeri surrendered their decade-long Cacio supremacy to Conte’s Inter last season.

Sky Italy’s Gianluca Di Marzio reports that Allegri will sign a four-year contract worth €9m per season at the club. His report also notes that the Italian boss will have “more power in terms of decision making”, transfers and more of a “key role” overall at Juventus.

Thus, Cristiano Ronaldo’s future is set to be an intriguing sub-plot this summer. Sky Italy (via Transfer News Live) reported even before Allegri’s official announcement that it’s “highly unlikely” for Ronaldo to be a Juventus player next season with Paulo Dybala poised to become the leading man in Allegri’s project.

A managerial merry-go-round in Serie A

Juventus’ move for their former boss leaves Real Madrid with a managerial predicament following Zinedine Zidane’s recent exit. Allegri had been widely touted as the Frenchman’s successor in the Spanish capital, with the manager’s entourage having been in direct contact with Real for several weeks.

Nevertheless, Conte is suspected to be targeted by Los Blancos, who may face competition from Tottenham Hotspur as they attempt to fill their managerial void.

The Nerazzurri, meanwhile, have opted to replace Conte with Lazio boss Simone Inzaghi. A wise appointment considering the systematic similarities between the two managers. Nevertheless, Inzaghi is set to have a tough task on his hands with a player clearout expected on the black and blue side of Milan.