Will Zidane Replace Allegri at Juventus?

Published April 12th, 2018 - 05:14 GMT
 The Frenchman has won eight trophies in his short coaching career and his future may depend on the Champions League, but where will he go next?
The Frenchman has won eight trophies in his short coaching career and his future may depend on the Champions League, but where will he go next?

Zinedine Zidane is a Juventus icon. The 45-year-old spent five successful seasons as a player in Turin before moving to Real Madrid in the summer of 2001 and perhaps understandably, he is being seen by many as a possible Bianconeri boss.

The Frenchman has won eight trophies already as Real coach, including back-to-back Champions League crowns – the second of those after Los Blancos beat Juve 4-1 in last season's showpiece in Cardiff.

This time, Real and Juve have met once again and Zidane's side are firm favourites to make it through to the semi-finals after winning the first leg 3-0 in Italy last week, when Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice, including an outrageous overhead kick.

Despite some ill feeling over his departure in a world-record transfer in 2001, Zidane is a popular figure in Turin these days. He has always spoken highly of his former club and, asked in 2016 if he could return as a manager, he said: "I've always had a very special feeling and you can never say never - I could come back to Turin to as coach."

Asked again ahead of the game in Turin last week, he said something similar: "You can never say never. But I'm happy where I am. Just focusing on coaching and thinking about Real. I'm not thinking about what can happen in future."

After a disappointing season in La Liga and also the Copa del Rey, Zidane's future is up in the air again and the Frenchman has often admitted that he knows his time at Real Madrid is not likely to last too long.

However, his popularity with the players and status as a two-time Champions League winner mean he still has credit and he can yet lead Los Blancos to an unprecedented third successive title in Europe's premier club competition (which has not been done since the competition changed format in 1992).

Zidane has also said he would like to coach the French national team at some stage, but if there is one other job in world football that could suit him, it is surely that of Juventus. So will it happen?

Juve hope that it will. Goal understands that Zidane is very much in the plans of president Andrea Agnelli and La Vecchia Signora would love to bring back their old hero as a coach. But that is unlikely to happen this summer.

Current coach Massimiliano Allegri is keen to move abroad in search of a new experience at some stage, but he has a contract keeping him at the Italian giants until the summer of 2020 and at the moment, he seems set to stay put.

There is some uncertainty at Juve, however, and a rebuilding process is needed as several of the players – including goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon – are reaching the twilight of their careers. And given a relative lack of experience at this level, despite his success so far, Zidane is perhaps not the man to bring about those changes.

In any case, Zizou is committed to Real for the foreseeable future and even if he fails to bring home a 13th European Cup for Los Blancos next month, he is likely to be given another season in charge at the Santiago Bernabeu.

When he does finally move on, however, Juventus will be watching closely – so expect the Frenchman to turn up as coach in Turin some time in the next few years.

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