The former Italy international has acknowledged that there is pressure ahead of a Serie A meeting with Napoli
Andrea Pirlo has revealed that Juventus president Andrea Agnelli warned him in advance of a recent meeting with former coach Massimiliano Allegri.
The pressure is building on Pirlo with each passing game as Juve’s miserable 2020-21 campaign drags on, with a must-win clash against Napoli up next on Wednesday.
It has been suggested that the club will soon part ways with the 41-year-old, although Pirlo appeared untroubled with Agnelli’s meeting with Allegri.
What’s been said?
“No, no stance,” Pirlo told a pre-match press conference if he had a stance on the meeting. “I was warned by the president himself about this meeting.
“They are friends. Apart from football, the friendship remains, it’s as if I were going to dinner with [Paolo] Maldini and the next day it would come out that he wanted me as Milan coach.
“In addition to football, there’s also friendships, these are normal things.”
Pirlo hanging on by a thread
Pirlo inherited a squad that had just won a ninth successive Scudetto after replacing Maurizio Sarri in the hot seat last summer, but has been unable to maintain the club’s domestic dominance in 2020-21.
The Bianconeri are sitting 12 points behind leaders Inter with 10 matches left to play in Serie A, and also suffered a surprise early exit in the Champions League at the hands of Porto last month.
Juve still have a Coppa Italia final date against Atalanta to look forward to on May 19, but Pirlo might not last until then if he fails to oversee a dramatic turnaround in fortunes in the league, with a top-four finish now in doubt.
Asked how important a win against Napoli could be in their bid to secure Champions League qualification, the former Italy midfielder responded: “I feel the trust of the players and they give me great confidence in the work we are doing.
“Tomorrow will be important but not decisive. The pressure is there and it is normal, we are used to having it. Now, we know we must also look at those below us.”
Allegri’s record at Juve
Allegri would likely be a popular appointment among supporters if he is lured back to Turin in the coming weeks given how successful he was during his first spell at the club.
The 53-year-old took the top job at Juve in 2014 and went on to deliver 11 trophies, including five Serie A crowns and four Coppa Italia titles, while also guiding the team to two Champions League finals.
Allegri decided to leave Juve at the end of the 2018-19 season, but has not coached since then, with it reported that he would be open to resuming his career in familiar surroundings.