The legendary career of stalwart defender Giorgio Chiellini is drawing to a close, but some suspect the 37-year-old might hang up his boots a little earlier than expected.
Chiellini continues to compete at the highest level but injuries have become annoyingly frequent in recent years. Since the start of the 2019/20 campaign, the Italian has missed a whopping 78 games through various injuries. He only just returned from over a month on the sidelines with a calf issue.
There were reports towards the backend of the 2020/21 season that Chiellini would retire following the campaign’s conclusion, but he instead signed a two-year contract extension that keeps him on the club’s books until 2023. The defender was then excited about the return of manager Massimiliano Allegri, believing he was the “right man” to lead the Bianconeri forward.
What are Giorgio Chiellini’s options at the end of the 2021/22 season?
It was at this point last season that doubts over Chiellini’s future started to emerge and those questions have arisen once more.
According to La Gazzetta dello Sport’s Fabiana Della Valle (via @JuveFC), Juventus have agreed to meet with Chiellini at the end of the season to discuss his future. It’s understood that another renewal is on the table, but that option isn’t set to be taken with the club considering a farewell.
Chiellini has performed superbly at times this season, most memorably in the Supercoppa Italiana, but injuries mean he’s only been able to play 17 games (1,144 minutes in all competitions).
The Bianconeri are keen to get younger at centre-back to hasten their rebuild and after Federico Gatti was brought in from Frosinone in January, the club have been linked with a summer move for the likes of Antonio Rudiger, Gleison Bremer and Manuel Akanji.
Chiellini, though, may not call it quits just yet. The player supposedly has dreams of playing in America for a year and that could happen if Juve decide to part ways this summer. He could also use his degree in Economics to pursue a role in management, perhaps at Juve.
On the international stage, many believe that the 37-year-old could play his last game for Italy in Tuesday’s friendly against Turkey after the Azzurri failed to qualify for the World Cup later this year.