Pirlo keeping calm amid speculation about Juventus future

Italian media reports this week linked former Juve coach Massimiliano Allegri with a return at the end of the season after a disappointing campaign for the Turin club.

Juventus boss Andrea Pirlo.   -  Getty Images

Juventus coach Andrea Pirlo insists he is unaffected by speculation about his future ahead of a crucial Serie A trip to Udinese on Sunday.

Italian media reports this week linked former Juve coach Massimiliano Allegri with a return at the end of the season after a disappointing campaign for the Turin club.

"I am fine, I spoke with the owners the other day, which often happens and it is not the first time. We chatted a little about everything. I am calm about my job," Pirlo told a news conference on Saturday.

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"I am looking at the present. I am the coach of Juventus and I am happy to be here.

"I am calm and focused on what I must do. I must bring this team to the Champions League and try to win the Coppa Italia. I am so concentrated on this that I do not have time to read the newspapers."

Pirlo’s side was knocked out of the Champions League by Porto at the last-16 stage and faces a battle to qualify for European football’s top competition next season.

A 1-1 draw against Fiorentina last weekend left Juventus in fourth place in Serie A, level on 66 points with Napoli in third and AC Milan in fifth ahead of their trip to 11th-placed Udinese on Sunday.

Juve has won the last nine Serie A titles but Pirlo admitted its goal is now to achieve a top-four finish that would secure Champions League qualification, as well as beating Atalanta in the Coppa Italia final on May 19.

"There are five games left and there are 15 points up for grabs, plus the Coppa Italia final," Pirlo said.

"It is a delicate moment and we need to pick up points to reach our goal of the Champions League.

"All the matches are important and we are focused on tomorrow against Udinese."

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