Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba would be the "ideal gift" for Andrea Pirlo following his appointment as Juventus head coach, according to former team-mate Luca Toni.

The France international won eight major honours in four seasons with Juve - three of those playing alongside Pirlo - before returning to Old Trafford in 2016.

Pogba was strongly linked with a move back to the Allianz Stadium last year and is into the final season of his United contract, though there is an option to extend that by 12 months.

Retired forward Toni, who played with Pirlo at both club and international level, believes Pogba would be the perfect signing to mark a new chapter at former club Juventus.

"Knowing Andrea, he will start building from midfield," he told Tuttosport. "The ideal gift would be Pogba. I don't know if that's possible, but it would certainly be the best option.

"Andrea will not be a coach who focuses on defending and counter-attacking. He loves to dominate the ball and will want to impose that on his team.

"I don't know what system he will use and I don't think it matters. Andrea is intelligent and flexible."

Pirlo was named Juve's new head coach on Saturday, hours after Maurizio Sarri's sacking on the back of the Italian champions' last-16 exit against Lyon in the Champions League.

Fabio Capello tipped Pirlo to replicate the success of three-time Scudetto-winning boss Antonio Conte, but Toni thinks he is more similar to Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola.

"Character wise, he's more like Pep," he said. "Having said that, Antonio impressed him a lot during his three years at Juventus.

"But in terms of group management, he was fortunate enough to be coached by the two best: [Carlo] Ancelotti and [Max] Allegri.

"All useful experiences, but in the end, he will be himself. He will be Pirlo and he will go his own way. Without pretending or copying anyone."

Could Paulo Dybala swap Italy for Spain?

The Juventus attacker was close to leaving Juventus for either Manchester United or Tottenham prior to the 2019-20 season, while Paris Saint-Germain were also linked.

Now, Real Madrid are reportedly targeting the 26-year-old.

 

TOP STORY – KROOS OUT, DYBALA IN?

Real Madrid are set to offer Toni Kroos or Isco as part of a deal to bring Juventus star Paulo Dybala to the Santiago Bernabeu, according to SportMediaset.

LaLiga champions Madrid are eyeing a move for Dybala, who has been in negotiations with Serie A titleholders Juve over a new contract amid reported interest from Paris Saint-Germain.

However, Juve are unwilling to part with the Argentina international – who enjoyed a fine Serie A campaign prior to Maurizio Sarri's sacking as he looks ahead to life under Andrea Pirlo.

ROUND-UP

- Kicker claims Jadon Sancho has told Borussia Dortmund he is happy to stay at the club if a blockbuster transfer to Manchester United fails to materialise. The England international has been heavily tipped to join United, with personal terms reportedly agreed.

Barcelona want to sign Manchester City star Bernardo Silva, reports The Telegraph. The LaLiga giants are eyeing a cash-plus-player deal to try to prise the Portugal international to Camp Nou.

- Premier League champions Liverpool are poised to sign Olympiacos left-back Kostas Tsimikas, according to widespread reports. Having failed to strike a deal with Norwich City for Jamal Lewis, Liverpool are close to prising Tsimikas from the Greek powerhouse. Meanwhile, The Sun says Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool are targeting a shock £35million swoop for Bournemouth midfielder David Brooks.

- The front page of Monday's edition of Marca says Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane must sell before he is able to sign players ahead of the 2020-21 season. Gareth Bale and James Rodriguez are two players unwanted in the Spanish capital as Madrid continue to be linked with the likes of PSG superstar Kylian Mbappe, Dortmund's Erling Haaland and Rennes sensation Eduardo Camavinga.

- AS Diario reports Villarreal are on the verge of signing Valencia pair Dani Parejo and Francis Coquelin. Valencia captain Parejo and team-mate Coquelin have been told they are free to leave Mestalla.

Napoli have joined the race to sign Madrid full-back Sergio Reguilon claims Sky Sport Italia. On loan at Sevilla, Reguilon has been linked to Chelsea and Everton.

- According to Calciomercato, Inter are interested in Tottenham midfielder Tanguy Ndombele. However, salary demands may prove problematic amid talk of a swap deal involving Inter defender Milan Skriniar.

Gianfranco Zola said he is "surprised" by Juventus' decision to appoint first-time head coach Andrea Pirlo following Maurizio Sarri's dismissal.

Pirlo, 41, was sensationally appointed Juve coach on Saturday after the Serie A winners sacked Sarri following their Champions League last-16 exit at the hands of Lyon.

Former Juve midfielder Pirlo, who was only recently named the Under-23s boss in Turin, will surprisingly have his first taste of senior coaching with the Bianconeri.

Zola worked as an assistant to Sarri at Chelsea in 2018-19 and he told Sky Sport Italia: "I'd be lying if I said I wasn't surprised by this.

"It's fascinating and if the project works, it'll go down as a huge success story for the club. It's not an easy job, though, as Juventus are asking to win in a certain way.

"This is a courageous move from the club and based on the quality of the man, but Pirlo will need their support going forward. It's not simple, but I do think he can have real success."

Pirlo left Juve in 2015 after the Bianconeri, who had been chasing the treble, were beaten 3-1 in the Champions League final by Barcelona.

He spent two years in MLS with New York City before calling time on his playing career.

The 2006 World Cup winner is a six-time Serie A champion, having won two Scudetti with Milan and four with Juve. He twice triumphed in the Champions League as a Rossoneri player, in 2003 and 2007.

Andrea Pirlo described his pride at being named Juventus head coach as he made his first public comments since Saturday's shock appointment.

Serie A champions Juve moved swiftly after they were knocked out of the Champions League by Lyon in the last 16 on Friday.

Coach Maurizio Sarri was sacked the following day, with Pirlo - only recently named their Under-23s boss - promoted as his replacement on a two-year deal.

The World Cup winner took to social media on Sunday and said: "I'm deeply pleased and honoured to receive such respect and trust from Juventus.

"Ready for this amazing opportunity!"

Pirlo is now set to become a rival to Inter's Antonio Conte, his former coach at Juve and Italy.

Conte welcomed the news as he faced the media ahead of Inter's Europa League quarter-final against Bayer Leverkusen.

"I'm certainly very happy for Andrea," said Conte, whose Nerazzurri finished a point behind Juve in Serie A.

"Besides what he gave me at a football level, we are talking about an exceptional person.

"What I think if there are players who I previously coached and are now coaching is that it means that I'm getting old!"

Paulo Dybala tweeted out his appreciation for Maurizio Sarri the day after the Italian coach was sacked by Juventus.

The Serie A champions decided to take swift action following Friday's Champions League exit to Lyon, announcing the end of Sarri's reign less than 24 hours after the second leg of the last-16 tie.

Juve did not wait long to name his replacement either, giving the job to Andrea Pirlo just over a week after appointing the former Italy international as their new under-23 team coach.

The internal promotion came as a surprise too, considering links to former Juve player and current Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane, ex-Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino and Simone Inzaghi, who is in charge of domestic rivals Lazio.

Reacting to the departure of Sarri, Dybala published a picture on Twitter of the pair together with the comment: "Thank you so much for everything Mister!"

Argentina international Dybala enjoyed an excellent 2019-20 season under the former Napoli and Chelsea boss, scoring 11 goals and providing six assists in the league as the Bianconeri finished top of the table for a ninth successive year.

Dybala - who was linked with a move away from Turin last year, including to Manchester United - was named Serie A MVP for his performances in domestic games, including Coppa Italia and Supercoppa Italiana games.

Pedro has confirmed his departure from Chelsea after "five wonderful years" with the Premier League club.

The Spanish forward is out of contract with the Blues and is rumoured to be heading for Italy next, reportedly to join Serie A side Roma on a two-year deal.

His final appearance for Chelsea came to a painful end, as he suffered a dislocated shoulder during the FA Cup final loss to Arsenal. He has since undergone surgery on the injury and did not feature in the Champions League defeat to Bayern Munich on Saturday.

In an Instagram post on Sunday, Pedro reflected on his successul time at Stamford Bridge, thanking all those who helped him feel at home following his move from Barcelona in 2015.

"After five wonderful years my stage at Chelsea comes to an end," he wrote.

"Thanks a lot to the club's board, to the coaches and team-mates I've had, and of course to the fans: thank you for the experience of being a member of your big family. I've been very happy here, you've made me feel like home.

"It's been a pleasure and an honour to play for this club and win the Premier League, FA Cup and Europa League titles, as well as competing in one of the world's best football leagues.

"I made the right choice, I take with me wonderful and unforgettable memories."

Pedro was part of Antonio Conte's Chelsea squad who secured the Premier League title in the 2016-17 season, while he also won the FA Cup and the Europa League with the London club.

Chelsea have reportedly joined two Premier League rivals in a tug-of-war for sought-after centre-back Ben White.

The talented Brighton and Hove Albion defender is wanted back at Elland Road, where he spent last season on loan, but Leeds United have long been tipped to face competition from Liverpool.

Now, an unexpected new contender for his signature has emerged.

 

TOP STORY – BLUES WANT WHITE

Frank Lampard and Chelsea have identified the highly rated White as a solution to their issues at the back, reports the Daily Star.

The Blues are said to be keen on the 22-year-old and will jettison Antonio Rudiger if their plan succeeds.

Rudiger struggled during the recent FA Cup final defeat against Arsenal and was overlooked for Saturday's 4-1 Champions League loss to Bayern Munich, which confirmed a heavy 7-1 aggregate hiding.

Sky Sports claims Brighton have already rejected two Leeds offers for White, who has been linked to Liverpool for several months.

 

ROUND-UP

- The Daily Star also has an update on Alexandre Lacazette, who could join Atletico Madrid in a €31.1million (£30m) move once Arsenal tie Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to a new contract.

- Manchester United are looking to sell Phil Jones after deciding against sending the defender for knee surgery, reports the Mirror.

- Ligue 1's Monaco are in talks to sign Weston McKennie from Bundesliga club Schalke, according to L'Equipe, although the United States international is also attracting Premier League interest.

- Niko Kovac's men are not the only French outfit weighing up a midfield addition. Paris Saint-Germain have been linked to Ismael Bennacer and Le 10 Sport suggests Serie A side Milan could be tempted by a big-money offer.

Gennaro Gattuso warned Juventus head coach Andrea Pirlo that his illustrious playing career will count for little in his new job.

Pirlo, who has not had a coaching job and only took over as Juve's Under-23s boss last week, was handed the reins in Turin on Saturday in the wake of Maurizio Sarri's dismissal.

The former midfielder – who won four Serie A titles, one Coppa Italia and two Supercoppa Italiana during a four-year spell with Juve – has signed a two-year deal.

However, Gattuso, who played alongside Pirlo at Milan and for Italy, provided an honest assessment of the job's difficulties for his former team-mate.

"Well he's screwed now… That's the job," Gattuso told Sky Italia following Napoli's defeat to Barcelona in the Champions League.

"He's lucky to be starting at Juventus, but this profession is one where a great playing career is not enough.

"You have to study, to work hard, and you don't get much sleep."

Gattuso's first job in coaching came at FC Sion, with the 42-year-old then having spells at Palermo, OFI Crete and Pisa before he took charge of Milan's youth team in 2017.

He was promoted to first-team head coach following Vincenzo Montella's sacking later that year, though he was dismissed at the end of the 2018-19 campaign after a fifth-placed finish, going on to replace Carlo Ancelotti at Napoli, who he guided to the Coppa Italia title this term.

"Being a player and being a coach is really not the same thing at all," Gattuso added.

"It's a totally different profession and we can't learn it just from books, we need to get in there and work hard. It's a different world."

Juventus have appointed Andrea Pirlo as their new head coach on a two-year deal.

The former Italy midfielder took charge as the Under-23s boss at his old club just nine days ago but has now been named as Maurizio Sarri's successor.

Sarri was sacked on Saturday after Juve were knocked out of the Champions League on away goals at the last-16 stage following a 2-2 aggregate draw with Lyon.

Ex-Juve player and current Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane emerged as one of the initial favourites for the role, along with ex-Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino and Lazio coach Simone Inzaghi.

There was also speculation Italy boss Roberto Mancini could be offered the post, but the club has promoted Pirlo instead.

"From today he will be the coach for Juventus, as the club has decided to entrust him with the technical leadership of the first team, after having already selected him for Juventus Under-23s," a statement read.

"Today's choice is based on the belief that Pirlo has what it takes to lead from his debut on the bench, an expert and talented squad to pursue new successes."

Pirlo left Juve in 2015 after the Bianconeri, who had been chasing the treble, were beaten 3-1 in the Champions League final by Barcelona.

He spent two years in MLS with New York City before calling time on his playing career.

The 2006 World Cup winner is a six-time Serie A champion, having won two with Milan and four with Juve. He won two Champions Leagues as a Rossoneri player, in 2003 and 2007.

Juventus are confident Andrea Pirlo is "destined for greatness" and a natural fit for the club, says chief football officer Fabio Paratici.

Juve dismissed Maurizio Sarri on Saturday in the wake of their Champions League exit at the hands of Lyon on Friday.

Sarri spent just one season at the club, winning the Serie A title but failing in the Coppa Italia and Champions League and his replacement was surprisingly announced just hours later.

Pirlo, who rejoined Juve as the Under-23s coach last week, has signed a two-year deal.

However, despite the job being Pirlo's first in senior coaching, Paratici – whose future is also reportedly in doubt – has full faith in the former midfielder.

"The decision for Pirlo was very natural, in the Juventus style, because he is someone who played with us, has always been in contact with everyone here and it felt natural," Paratici told Sky Sport Italia.

"We also believe he is destined for greatness. He was as a player and we think with confidence he can do the same as a coach."

Paratici reiterated Juve's decision to relieve Sarri of his duties was based on the entire 2019-20 campaign, not just the Champions League exit.

"We had already said, one game does not decide the future of a coach. Our evaluations were based on the whole season and not just a single match," Paratici added.

"A season is long, there are many moments and situations that then add up. There wasn't any spark.

"We simply came to this consideration at the end of a very long season, even after winning the Scudetto. It's not just Europe that decides on success or failure. 

"We are in unexplored territory, because nobody has won nine consecutive Serie A titles before. We achieved it with several eras, really, because they tend to last three to four years. We are at our third era in a row of success, it's almost inexplicable."

Juventus have appointed Andrea Pirlo as their new head coach on a two-year deal.

The former Italy midfielder took charge as the Under-23s boss at his old club just nine days ago but has now been named as Maurizio Sarri's successor.

Sarri was sacked on Saturday after Juve were knocked out of the Champions League on away goals at the last-16 stage following a 2-2 aggregate draw with Lyon.

Ex-Juve player and current Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane emerged as one of the initial favourites for the role, along with ex-Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino and Lazio coach Simone Inzaghi.

There was also speculation Italy boss Roberto Mancini could be offered the post, but the club has promoted Pirlo instead.

"From today he will be the coach for Juventus, as the club has decided to entrust him with the technical leadership of the first team, after having already selected him for Juventus Under-23s," a statement read.

"Today's choice is based on the belief that Pirlo has what it takes to lead from his debut on the bench, an expert and talented squad to pursue new successes."

Pirlo left Juve in 2015 after the Bianconeri, who had been chasing the treble, were beaten 3-1 in the Champions League final by Barcelona.

He spent two years in MLS with New York City before calling time on his playing career.

The 2006 World Cup winner is a six-time Serie A champion, having won two with Milan and four with Juve. He won two Champions Leagues as a Rossoneri player, in 2003 and 2007.

Cristiano Ronaldo spoke of the importance of making "the best decisions for the future" in the wake of Juventus' Champions League exit and the sacking of Maurizio Sarri.

Ronaldo scored twice on Friday to give Juve a 2-1 win over Lyon in Turin, but it was not enough to prevent them going out at the last-16 stage on away goals after a 2-2 aggregate draw.

On Saturday, the Bianconeri announced they had sacked head coach Sarri barely a year after he was appointed following his departure from Chelsea.

Sarri guided Juve to a ninth Serie A title in a row, but defeat to Napoli in the Coppa Italia final and a failure to instil his playing style on the squad had led to doubts about his suitability to the job.

Andrea Pirlo, who was only appointed coach of the Juventus under-23 team last month, soon emerged as favourite to take charge at the Allianz Stadium.

Ronaldo urged everyone at Juve to use the short off-season for "critical thinking" so that they can return to satisfy fans' expectations.

While he did not mention Sarri or the speculation around the coach's possible replacement, the Portugal star made it clear the club now need to get things right.

"The 2019-20 season is over for us, much later than usual but yet sooner than we expected," Ronaldo wrote on Instagram.

"Now it's time for reflection, time to analyse the ups and downs because critical thinking is the only way to improve.

"A huge club such as Juventus must always think like the best in the world, work like the best in the world, so that we can call ourselves one of the best and biggest clubs in the world.

"Winning the Serie A once again in such a difficult year is something that we are very proud of. Personally, scoring 37 goals for Juventus and 11 for the Portuguese national team is something that makes me face the future with renewed ambition and desire to keep doing better and better each year.

"But the fans demand more from us. They expect more from us. And we have to deliver, we must live up to the highest expectations.

"May this short vacation break allow us all to make the best decisions for the future and come back stronger and more committed than ever. See you soon!"

Zinedine Zidane, Ronaldo's former coach at Real Madrid, was fancied by some as a potential candidate to succeed Sarri.

Italy boss Roberto Mancini, ex-Tottenham man Mauricio Pochettino and Lazio coach Simone Inzaghi were linked with the job in the immediate aftermath of Sarri's departure.

There was a certain inevitability about Maurizio Sarri's fate once Juventus were knocked out of the Champions League last 16 by Lyon.

Sure, the swiftness of Juve's decision caught some off guard but not even winning the Serie A title is enough to assuage the Bianconeri board nowadays.

After nine straight Serie A titles that should not really be a surprise, and most observers would acknowledge Juve's success this season had as much to do with their rivals' failures as it did their own merits.

But how do the numbers back up such an assertion? Well, using Opta data we compared Juve's solitary Serie A season under Sarri to their final campaign under Massimiliano Allegri in 2018-19 to try and shed some light.


IMPROVEMENTS IN ATTACK?

As you would perhaps expect to see, Juve's stats suggest they were a little more inclined to go for the jugular under Sarri.

Indeed, the 76 goals, 501 shots and 243 shots on target are all higher than last season, when they registered 70, 451 and 201 in the respective areas.

But the numbers also hint at Juve not being quite as clinical as they could have been. In 2018-19, Juve converted 43 big chances and missed 42 for a big-chance conversion rate 50.59 per cent.

Looking at the same metrics under Sarri, Juve again scored 43 of their big chances but missed a disappointing 52, bringing their rate down to 45.26 per cent.

Indeed, their shot-conversion rate also dipped, albeit the drop was less noticeable, falling from 15.52 to 15.17 per cent.

One area where Juve did improve is one that would make sense given Sarri's style. The Bianconeri scored six goals from fast breaks and had 31 fast breaks in total, compared to three and 16 the season before.


PASSING THE SARRI TEST?

Sarri was employed in part to bring an attractive style of football to match a winning team at Juve. Of course, a simple eye test may suggest he was not exactly successful at doing so.

But the stats do suggest Sarri was at least making progress with this end game.

Juve created more chances and big chances (503 and 66 compared to 476 and 60), while there were 47 assists in total, slightly up from 44.

Their passing stats improved as well. A passing accuracy of 87.97 is better than the 86.24 of last term, while the same metric in their own and the opposition half was higher (92.04 and 85.13 per cent against 91.44 and 86.24). This was despite attempting more passes this season (21,727 to 20,092).

Overall, Juve also spent more time in possession of the ball, rising from 56.22 to 58.31 per cent.


NOT MUCH CASE FOR THE DEFENCE

Unfortunately, while Sarri could feasibly argue Juve had made progress going forward, the case for the defence is not nearly as strong.

Juve conceded 43 goals this term, a pretty big increase from the 30 in the last term under Allegri, while they also kept four fewer clean sheets (12 as opposed to 16).

Duel success was down only a smidgen from 53 to 52.53, while there was a bigger plunge in tackle success – that figure going from 62.11 to 59.

Additionally, there were fewer recoveries (2163 down to 2030), aerial successes (557 down to 448), blocks (128 down to 117) and possession wins (1,945 down to 1,811).

Juventus did not make as many errors leading to shots (14 down from 16) but did make six errors leading to goals, two more than the four in 2018-19.

This defensive dip can be perhaps partly explained by the longer spells of possession but it still does not reflect particularly well for Sarri.


BETTER THAN CHELSEA, WORSE THAN NAPOLI?

Sarri's Napoli side were revered across the continent but the same cannot be truly said of his teams at Chelsea or Juve, albeit the latter two ventures only lasted one season each.

At Napoli, Sarri oversaw 98 wins in 148 games across all competitions, giving him a win percentage of 66.2 with the Partenopei.

With Chelsea, where Sarri won a first major honour in the 2018-19 Europa League, he celebrated 39 wins in 63 games as his win percentage dropped to 61.9.

It climbed back up to 65.4 with Juve, where Sarri was a victor 34 times in 52 matches – but ultimately it was enough to convince the Bianconeri's hierarchy.

Maurizio Sarri was like an uncomfortable guest at Juventus and his sacking was not a surprise, Alessio Tacchinardi says.

Sarri was dismissed on Saturday following Juve's Champions League elimination at the hands of Lyon less than 24 hours earlier.

The 61-year-old secured Juve's ninth Serie A title in a row in his only season in charge but lost the Coppa Italia final to Napoli, while problems instilling his style into the squad had prompted concerns about his long-term suitability to the role.

In that regard, Tacchinardi does not believe it was simply Friday's 2-1 win over Lyon - which saw the Ligue 1 side progress to the Champions League quarter-finals on away goals - that forced Juve to make a change.

Tacchinardi also feels Juve's squad planning left Sarri short-handed, with 21-year-old striker Marco Olivieri having been thrown on in the closing minutes for his Champions League debut as they desperately sought a third goal.

"I hadn't received any signals from Turin, but I don't think this defeat was necessary for Sarri to be sacked," the former midfielder, who won six Serie A titles and the 1996 Champions League with the Bianconeri, told TMW Radio.

"He always seemed like a guest who did not feel at ease. At Napoli, he was a leader.

"There were many players in a precarious condition yesterday. Juve won officially but the only won who actually won was [Cristiano] Ronaldo.

"With all due respect to Olivieri, to think Juve let someone like [Mario] Mandzukic go makes you think."

Real Madrid head coach and former Juve midfielder Zinedine Zidane is considered one of the favourites to replace Sarri, along with Lazio boss Simone Inzaghi and former Tottenham man Mauricio Pochettino.

There is also speculation Italy coach Roberto Mancini could be offered the position.

"Between Mancini and Zidane, I'd prefer the Frenchman," Tacchinardi said. "He knows Juve and knows how to be respected, but Mancini would be okay, too. I think the national team coach could come."

Juventus have decided their Maurizio Sarri experiment has not worked and for the second time in as many seasons the Bianconeri are on the hunt for a new head coach.

Sarri was the man chosen to succeed Massimiliano Allegri ahead of the 2019-20 campaign, an appointment that seems a lifetime ago in a season interrupted by the coronavirus pandemic.

The former Napoli boss steered Juve to a ninth straight Serie A title, but the unconvincing nature of that triumph meant the Scudetto alone was never likely to be enough to convince the club's hierarchy Sarri would be the man to achieve the ultimate goal of winning the Champions League.

They fell short in Europe on Friday night, with Juve failing to overturn a 1-0 first-leg deficit to Ligue 1 side Lyon in the Champions League last 16, a 2-1 win on the night meaning they exited on the away goals ruling.

With Sarri gone, we take a look at some of the prime contenders to take over at the Italian champions.

MAURICIO POCHETTINO

An easy link, or a case of ideal timing? Pochettino has been out of work since being sacked by Tottenham in November 2019. That relationship soured towards the end but should not overshadow his achievements with Spurs, including taking them to a Champions League final. The Argentine coach was also linked with the Bianconeri a year ago, though now there is no need to negotiate a compensation package with another club. With a shorter turnaround than usual before a new season, the 48-year-old is available for Juve, should they want someone in place quickly.

SIMONE INZAGHI

Sarri was let go despite winning Serie A, but there was a period when Lazio looked like ending their Scudetto dominance. Former striker Inzaghi led the Rome side to the Coppa Italia last year and has twice thwarted Juve in the Supercoppa Italiana in his four years at the helm. Although their title challenge fell away after the restart, Inzaghi earned Lazio a spot in the Champions League proper for the first time since 2007-08.

ZINEDINE ZIDANE

In his first full season back in the Santiago Bernabeu hotseat, the France great led Real Madrid to a first LaLiga title since the 2016-17 campaign. But after being knocked out of the Champions League last 16 by Manchester City and with Madrid's reputation for chaos, Zidane's future is perhaps not 100 per cent locked in. It would still be a huge surprise to see Zidane depart the Spanish capital, though if he did, perhaps a return to Juve – where he starred in his playing days before joining Madrid – may be tempting. With three straight Champions League wins to his name from 2016 to 2018, his proven pedigree may appeal to Juve who are so desperate to land Europe's most coveted prize.

ANTONIO CONTE

Could Juventus turn to the man who sparked their run of nine successive Serie A titles? A once mighty midfield force for the Bianconeri, coach Conte led Juventus to three straight Scudetti before leaving to become Italy boss in 2014. After spells with the Azzurri and Chelsea, Conte has wound up at Inter, so it might take an audacious raid on their Serie A rivals for Juventus to be reunited with their former boss. Yet amid mixed fortunes in his first year at San Siro, there are some who think Conte could be on the lookout for a new job sooner rather than later.

PAULO SOUSA

A double winner with Juve in 1994-95 and a member of the team that won the Champions League a season later, Sousa has the advantage of a prior connection with the club but should be considered an outside shot. He has enjoyed a nomadic coaching career that has included stops at Leicester City, Swansea City, Basel and Fiorentina but has failed to inspire in his current post at Bordeaux, where his win percentage is just 30.2.

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