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Reports: Andrea Pirlo set to take over Juventus’ Under-23 team

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It looks like we will be saying “Welcome back!” to an old friend.

Italian Open - Previews Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

For the last year and change, there have been occasional rumors that Andrea Pirlo, still with beautiful long hair and a luscious beard, might take over Juventus’ Under-23 team in Serie C. Juve have since hired another manager in the time between the Pirlo managerial rumors first started — a hire that resulted in a Serie C Coppa Italia final victory this past weekend.

But, even with the squad, which was launched two seasons ago, it looks like there will be a third manager in as many seasons.

And that new manager looks to be Pirlo.

According to reports out of Italy on Monday night — Sky Sport Italia’s Gianluca Di Marzio being the first to do so — Pirlo is set to take over Juve’s Under-23 squad. It is an interesting development because just two months ago Pirlo said that he is “more inclined towards the senior squads to youth ones” in an Instagram Live interview. Juve’s Under-23 team includes many of the club’s former Primavera players who have previously been on loan in Serie C or Serie B as well as current Primavera players jumping up into the squad when the opportunity presents itself.

Pirlo, who retired as a professional footballer in 2017 after a couple of seasons in Major League Soccer with New York City FC, has already secured his coaching badges and, like he said, has been looking toward entering the coaching ranks in the last couple of years. When it comes to rumors of where Pirlo might jump into the coaching ranks, those haven’t been all that prevalent, with the Juventus Under-23 squad being one of the biggest — if not the most notable — jobs that he has been linked to in the last 12 months.

But after a lot of media speculation, this is about as concrete of a development as there has been when it comes to Pirlo coming back to Juventus in a managerial/coaching capacity.

We know that Pirlo, who turned 41 years old in May, always seemed like he would be one of the best coaching candidates out there from his generation of Italian national team players. We know damn well he has that kind of mind for coaching based on the simple fact of how he operated and saw the game while he was a player. Seeing as this will be his first official coaching position, we obviously don’t know what kind of system or vision for a club will be, and that will likely be something that develops over time.

For now, though, we await the official announcement that sees Pirlo mark his return and pose for what is likely to be a wonderful contract signing picture with Fabio Paratici and/or Pavel Nedved. (Can you imagine the amount of beautiful hair if it is Nedved alongside Pirlo?)