The World Cup winner has faced some uncomfortable questions this season, but he remains fully committed to a demanding post in Turin
Andrea Pirlo remains unfazed by the rumours suggesting that his days as Juventus manager may be numbered, with the Bianconeri boss holding talks with the club’s owners.
The World Cup winner has faced a baptism of fire in his first managerial role, with the 41-year-old finding out the hard way how tough life at the top in coaching circles can be.
With Juve about to lose their grip on the Serie A title, while also bowing out early in the Champions League, questions have been asked of how long Pirlo will stick around in Turin.
What has been said?
Quizzed on his future ahead of a meeting with Udinese on Sunday, Pirlo has told reporters: “I am fine, I spoke to the owners the other day, as often happens. It certainly wasn’t the first time.
“We had a chat about everything, as always. I am not concerned when it comes to my work. I only hear rumours from you reporters. I am relaxed and concentrated on what I need to do, I’m not influenced by all these rumors.
“I am so concentrated on what I need to do that I don’t have time to read the newspapers.”
The bigger picture
Juve have work to do in order to secure a top-four finish and Champions League qualification this season, with five games left to take in.
Pirlo has enough talent at his disposal to get across that line, but will be forced into tinkering a little against Udinese.
Alvaro Morata is nursing a knock, meaning that Cristiano Ronaldo will be paired with Paulo Dybala in attack.
Pirlo said when asked for an update on his squad: “Ronaldo will play with Dybala, because Morata is not in a good shape. He had a problem yesterday with his calf muscle and we’ll evaluate his condition today.
“We will decide whether or not to bring him to Udine with us tomorrow. Danilo is fine, Federico Chiesa less so, as he trained separately from the group this week. He is not at 100 per cent yet and it’d be risky to start him tomorrow.
“Arthur only trained with the team yesterday due to another problem, Aaron Ramsey is still separate. We’ve had a few issues. Dejan Kulusevski trained with his team-mates all week and could start.”