Juventus stalwart Giorgio Chiellini is set to leave the club at the end of the season following 18 years of stout service.
The 37-year-old is contracted with the Bianconeri until 2023 after extending his deal last summer, but steps have already been taken for him to leave the club a year early. Thus, Juventus are poised to lose a pair of club legends in back-to-back summers having lost Gianluigi Buffon at the end of the 2020/21 campaign.
Chiellini has continued to perform at a high level when called upon by Massimiliano Allegri this season, but the Italian defender is set for pastures new.
Giorgio Chiellini is set to leave Juventus at the end of the 2021/22 season
According to the reliable GOAL Italia reporter Romeo Agresti, Chiellini will leave Juventus this summer and added that he could end his career in the United States.
The defender’s entourage have probed the possibility of the Italian joining an MLS club in recent weeks, but Agresti adds that nothing is “concrete”.
Retirement is still a possibility, although he isn’t expected to hang up his boots just yet. Chiellini will play his last game for Italy in the summer as the Azzurri take on Argentina at Wembley in June. For Juventus, the great defender is expected to make his final appearance against Lazio on May 16.
While injuries have limited the veteran to 23 appearances this season, Chiellini’s exit will leave a gaping void in the Juventus dressing room from both a playing and leadership perspective. The Italian is rightly regarded as one of his generation’s best defenders, and among the all-time greats.
He will leave Juve at the end of the season having made the third-most appearances in the club’s history, and having played a pivotal role in 19 major honours – including nine straight Scudetti.
Replacing Chiellini will be an impossible task. No one appreciates the overlooked art of defending quite like the Italian, who admitted that his “love affair” with Juventus “will never end” as he announced his retirement from the Italian national team.
Nevertheless, the Bianconeri have already made strides in their defensive rejuvenation by signing Federico Gatti from Frosinone in January. Gatti will join Max Allegri’s squad in the summer, but further reinforcements are now required.