Pirlo still hopes to stay at Juventus alongside Ronaldo

By Sports Desk May 22, 2021

Andrea Pirlo still hopes to stay on as Juventus coach and keep Cristiano Ronaldo at the club as he prepares for Sunday's decisive Serie A clash with Bologna.

Juve sit fifth in the table after 37 matches, a point behind Napoli in fourth and Milan in third, and they know they must win to have any chance of finishing in a Champions League spot.

Pirlo's first season in charge has been difficult. The Bianconeri lost their title to Inter and crashed out of the Champions League to Porto at the last-16 stage.

However, they have still claimed two trophies in 2021, winning the Supercoppa Italiana match against Napoli in January before lifting the Coppa Italia this week after defeating Atalanta 2-1 in the final.

Speculation persists that Juve will look to replace Pirlo before next season, while it has also been rumoured they could sanction the sale of Ronaldo, who has scored 36 goals in all competitions this term.

Pirlo, however, appears eager to keep working with Ronaldo at the Allianz Stadium and improve on his first campaign in the dugout.

"We do this job for the adrenaline that it brings," he said on Saturday. "I want to continue working with this team and this club, but I think that's normal.

"The greatest satisfaction of this season has been the relationship with the boys, who have given me a lot, whilst I haven't liked the results and we didn't reach the set goals.

"I was a winner as a player, I want to be a manager, so I think of this year as an opportunity to improve. I don't think that the club will decide my future on the basis of tomorrow. We'll see what happens.  

"After the Milan game [a 3-0 defeat on May 9], we were 'dead'; now, we are still alive. Let's think about ourselves first, and then see what happens elsewhere. We mustn't have any regrets. There is always pressure, but we are calm and there is enthusiasm."

He added on Ronaldo: "I see Cristiano at Juventus and extremely focused, just as I saw him in the Coppa Italia final on Wednesday."

One figure who is set to leave Juve after this season is Gianluigi Buffon, with the 43-year-old having announced he will not commit to the club for 2021-22.

Pirlo said of his old team-mate: "With Buffon, Juve is losing a monument of football, both on and off the pitch. It's a sad feeling as we have come a long way together. I admire him very much."

Related items

  • Rumour Has It: Arsenal switch focus to Isak after Vlahovic chooses Juventus Rumour Has It: Arsenal switch focus to Isak after Vlahovic chooses Juventus

    Arsenal's search of attacking reinforcements has apparently led to Alexander Isak after it became clear Dusan Vlahovic is seemingly headed to Juventus.

    With Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang out of form and ostracised at the Emirates Stadium and Alexandre Lacazette struggling for goals, Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta is desperate to land attacking reinforcements in January.

    Their hunt for Fiorentina hitman Vlahovic has apparently failed but Sweden star Isak may be a potential option for the Premier League side.

    TOP STORY – ISAK THE MAN FOR MIKEL?

    Vlahovic has been a man in demand during the January transfer window, though it appears Juve have won the race in a €75million deal.

    Arsenal are now thought to be turning their attention to Real Sociedad forward Isak, and are reportedly ready to make him their club-record signing by paying £75million, which would trigger Isak's release clause.

    Isak scored 17 goals in 34 LaLiga outings last term, but he has managed just four from 18 top-flight appearances in 2021-22 thus far.

    ROUND UP

    - Newcastle United's pursuit of new players in their fight against relegation has reportedly led to a €40m (£33.5m) bid for Lyon's defensive midfielder Bruno Guimaraes, according to the Guardian. Arsenal and Juventus have also been touted as potential suitors.

    - The Evening Standard says Tottenham are planning a loan deal for Fiorentina's Sofyan Amrabat as Antonio Conte looks to bolster his midfield with Tanguy Ndombele, Dele Alli and Giovani Lo Celso all set to be allowed to leave. A move for Georginio Wijnaldum, whose move to Paris Saint-Germain has not exactly gone to plan, has also been tipped.

    - Germany full-back Robin Gosens could be about to swap Atalanta for Serie A rivals Inter, with a move in the "final stages", says Fabrizio Romano.

    - Nicolas Tagliafico has told Ajax he wants to joined Barcelona in what he considers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Goal first reported Barca coach Xavi was eyeing the left-back to provide competition for Jordi Alba.

    - Donny van de Beek is seemingly headed for a loan move out of Manchester United. Crystal Palace are said by Sky Sports to be in direct negotiations with the Red Devils, while a temporary switch to Valencia is also an option.

  • 'These games can define things' - Rodrygo targeting World Cup glory with Brazil 'These games can define things' - Rodrygo targeting World Cup glory with Brazil

    Rodrygo has his sights set on World Cup glory with Brazil later this year following his call-up to the squad.

    The Real Madrid winger has been selected by Tite for his nation's qualifiers against Ecuador and Paraguay this week.

    The Selecao, who sit top of the CONMEBOL qualifying table, are already guaranteed a place in Qatar having collected 35 points from their opening 13 matches. 

    Rodrygo has three senior caps to his name and knows the upcoming games present an opportunity for him to stake his claim to appear at the finals, and helping Brazil claim a sixth World Cup triumph – and first since 2002 – tops his priority list for this calendar year.

    "It is very important for me to be [back in the] Brazil [squad]," he said in quotes reported on Marca via TNT Brazil.

    "It was a goal to return to [the] Brazil [squad]. I think these games can define things, and I hope to play and settle in the national team.

    "All Brazilians want to be in Qatar. I'm going to work to try to be there. If I play well, I have a chance [to go].

    "[If I had to choose a title to win in 2022, I'd say] the World Cup."

    Rodrygo has made 17 appearances for Madrid in LaLiga this season, with 11 of those coming as a substitute – the same as Luka Jovic – with none of his team-mates appearing from the bench more often. 

    He has had more joy in the Champions League however, scoring in victories over Inter and Shakhtar Donetsk.

    The 21-year-old has attempted 16 dribbles in Europe's premier competition this term, with Vinicius Junior (36) the only Los Blancos player to top that.

    Rodrygo will hope to be involved again as Carlo Ancelotti's side face Paris Saint-Germain in the round of 16, and he is excited by the prospect of lining up against one of his compatriots.

    "This game could have come a bit later [in the competition]," he added.

    "They have some of the best players in the world. We know it's difficult, but it's a collective effort that will give us the chance to go through.

    "Playing against Neymar will be special. I hope Real Madrid win."

  • BREAKING NEWS: Martial seals Man Utd exit with Sevilla loan BREAKING NEWS: Martial seals Man Utd exit with Sevilla loan

    Anthony Martial will play the remainder of the 2021-22 season on loan in LaLiga with Sevilla after falling out of favour at Manchester United.

    France international Martial has reportedly taken a pay cut to join the Andalusian club, who it is said will pay €6million for salary and a loan fee combined.

    United interim boss Ralf Rangnick revealed last month that Martial had asked to leave the club in January after struggling for first-team football following a return from injury.

    Rangnick then claimed in the wake of United's 2-2 Premier League draw with Aston Villa that Martial was not with the squad because he "didn't want" to be involved – the forward refuted those claims.

    While Rangnick drew a line under the situation, he hinted United were negotiating exits for several players ahead of the transfer deadline, and Sevilla's tactic of playing the long game has paid off.

    LaLiga's second-placed side were linked with Martial last month, but reports suggested they could not get anywhere near the player's wage demands, and United were seemingly unwilling to lower their own demands.

    But a breakthrough in negotiations has seen the clubs reach an agreement that Sevilla will hope significantly boosts their chances in LaLiga's title race.

    After 22 matches played, Sevilla are just four points behind leaders Real Madrid.

    Throughout January, they have been linked with forwards due to injuries and a general lack of goals scored – their 34 in LaLiga is the fewest of those in the top four and 13 behind Madrid's tally.

    Rafa Mir is their top scorer in the league despite a fairly underwhelming total of six in 20 appearances, with the pre-season arrival from Wolves struggling to pick up the slack for Youssef En-Nesyri, who has been absent through injury and Africa Cup of Nations duty.

    Sevilla will hope Martial can hit the ground running after the international break, but he may be lacking match sharpness given he has played the full 90 minutes of a game once all season and has played just eight minutes of football since Rangnick's first match in charge in early December.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.