Milan - Andrea Pirlo's move to Major League Soccer is
imminent, according to reports in Italy that claim the Juventus and Italy star
will sign an 18-month deal with New York City FC.
Midfield legend Pirlo was a linchpin for the Turin giants on
their way to a first league and Cup double in 20 years last season.
But reports in La Gazzetta dello Sport insist the
36-year-old former World Cup winner will leave Italy behind and end his career
in the United States.
Pirlo, whose contract expires in June 2016, was distraught
at the final whistle of last month's Champions League final when Juventus were
beaten 3-1 by Barcelona.
That may have represented Pirlo's last chance to add a third
Champions League winner's medal to his collection having triumphed with AC
Milan in 2003 and 2007.
Gazzetta's report said Pirlo will sign an 18-month contract
in August with Jason Kreis's side after deciding whether to include a clause
that would allow him to opt out of another year, if he desired.
Former Juventus teammate Sebastian Giovinco quit the
Bianconeri during last season to sign for Toronto FC, who meet New York City FC
in an Eastern Conference clash on July 12.
In an interview on Thursday with Gazzetta, Giovinco insisted
the MLS was "not as easy as many people might think" and admitted
Pirlo had enquired about his experience with the Canadian side.
"I talked to him via message, but not from New York.
Some time ago he called to ask me how I was getting along," said Giovinco.
"I told him it was a great experience, something he
should try. But I don't think it's me who will convince him.
"I hope to get the chance to play against him here."
Also read: Pirlo sidelined for '20 days': Juventus
Speculation on Pirlo's reported move has intensified in
recent days during the Italian's holiday in New York where he has been
photographed taking 'selfies' with soccer fans.
Pirlo was also photographed at Yankee Stadium -- the home of
baseball side New York Yankees and the home venue of New York City FC -- last
weekend in the company of Ferran Soriano, a Chief Executive Officer of
Manchester City and New York City.
After the disappointment of last month's Champions League
final defeat, Soriano is reported to have convinced Pirlo to quit Juventus
immediately instead of opting to leave the club in January.
With Chilean Arturo Vidal, Frenchman Paul Pogba and Italian
Claudio Marchisio all playing alongside Pirlo at Juventus, the Turin club
arguably boast one of the strongest midfields in European football.
Juventus have boosted that with the addition of German
international Sami Khedira, and coach Massimiliano Allegri recently said he was
confident he could keep Pogba, a target for several top clubs, for another
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