Things are looking rosy once again for The Old Lady. The Serie A title is firmly wrapped up once more, with a Coppa Italia final against Lazio on the horizon next month. They’ve returned with a bang to the grand stage as well, and are on the verge of reaching the Champions League final.
According to reports in Italy though, the cog in Massimiliano Allegri’s machine could be about to depart. What a beautiful cog it is, too, as Andrea Pirlo is reportedly eager to end his career abroad. Having never ventured outside of Serie A, the 35-year-old reportedly has offers from both the Premier League and MLS. Turin-based outlet Tuttosport claim that Liverpool and Chelsea have both made their interest known to the playmaker.
It’s a lovely thought, but would Pirlo really leave a club who are on the up for a) one who cannot guarantee Champions League football, or b) one who boasts perhaps the strongest midfield in world football? Would he really put up with Alan Shearer and Robbie Savage laying into him every week for not running enough? Or Garth Crooks snubbing him for each Team of the Week because Mark Noble scored a penalty in a 4-1 defeat? Or Brendan Rodgers utilising him as an inverted false No 9 winger?
Still, Pirlo in the Premier League. Excuse me while I just, erm…nip off to the loo.
MOURINHO WANTS CECH TO STAY
Along with John Terry and Didier Drogba, Petr Cech is the last remaining relic of Jose Mourinho’s previous Chelsea reign. The keeper has been dislodged from the No 1 spot by Thibaut Courtois this season however, leading to murmurs of discontent. After all, he’s performed more than admirably when given the chance and, at just 32 years of age, has plenty left to give at the top echelon of club football.
While Liverpool and Roma were previously linked, Arsenal appear to be the frontrunners to secure his services next season. In the least shocking news for quite a while however, Blues boss Jose Mourinho has put the brakes on the move.
“If it was my decision, the decision is Petr to stay. Even against his will? For me, decision No 1 is that Petr will stay,” said the Portuguese. “After that, second point is for him to go, but not in England. The option I don’t want is for him to go to an English club.”
With David Ospina in sparkling form and Wojciech Szczesny proving an able understudy, Arsene Wenger’s attentions are likely to be elsewhere this summer.
DI MARIA TO LEAVE UNITED ON LOAN
With the imminent addition of Memphis Depay, Angel Di Maria must feel like the £59.7million elephant in the room. Having started in electric form earlier this season after signing from Real Madrid, the Manchester United man has struggled since. Hands up who thought Ashley Young would keep him out a starting place at any point?
The Argentine is reportedly unsettled at Old Trafford, and The Sun believe they have the answer. French giants PSG, who United beat to the Depay signing, are apparently interested in a deal similar to United’s with Radamel Falcao, with a £6m loan fee up front with a view to a permanent deal. It seems a little unlikely that Louis van Gaal would cut his losses so drastically for potentially little return, but does Di Maria still have a future at United?
AND THE REST
Arsene Wenger has held heart-to-heart talks with Carl Jenkinson over his Arsenal future…Tottenham are trying to sign defender Toby Alderweireld on a permanent deal…Edinson Cavani has fuelled speculation that Manchester United or Serie A champions Juventus could swoop for him…Bournemouth are ready to offer veteran Everton centre-back Sylvain Distin the chance to stay in the Premier League…Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger says the club have no plans to sell forward Theo Walcott and have opened contract talks with the England international…Real Sociedad boss David Moyes says he is “not going anywhere” despite interest from Newcastle and West Ham…Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann is open to a summer move to Chelsea…Manchester United could sign on-loan Colombia striker Radamel Falcao for a cut-price fee.