Whenever one of the Italian media outlets — or all of them, for that matter — has reported that the heat is on Max Allegri and his job at Juventus is potentially in danger, one of the first names to be floated out there as a replacement is a former Juventus midfielder who has won a whole lot as a player and coach.
That name is Zinedine Zidane.
It’s that same Zidane that has been out of a job since leaving Real Madrid for a second time in 2021 who has been linked to other jobs over the course of the 2022-23 season only to still very much be somebody who’s only watching from the stands.
According to French news outlet RMC Sport, Zidane is very much interested in getting back into the game. As much as Zidane’s previous reported preference was the French national team, now a new top priority has emerged: Juventus. That’s right, RMC Sport says that Zidane wants back in the game and wants to have it be at the club in which he starred at from 1996 to 2001 before leaving for Real Madrid (and providing money to sign Gigi Buffon and Pavel Nedved).
Libre depuis son départ du Real Madrid en mai 2021, Zinédine Zidane entend retrouver un club lors de la prochaine intersaison. Les clubs susceptibles de l’attirer sont peu. Mais un en particulier est devenu sa priorité. Une institution qu’il connaît bien : la Juventus.— RMC Sport (@RMCsport) April 21, 2023
Now, if there is any sort of validity to this — and I’m not going to sit here and be an expert on RMC Sport’s reporting history or even say I’m familiar with them compared to the Italian media — then it suddenly a wrinkle in the summer in which we maybe didn’t think possible.
For all of Allegri’s flaws — and, especially when it comes to his second stint, we’ve seen plenty of them — he has helped keep the Juve ship afloat the last three or four months while there was so much swirling in the front office and even more outside noise from the rest of Serie A and in the Italian media.
While other big clubs (who seem to have a lot more money currently available than Juve) are on the hunt for a new manager or are expected to be, Juventus has the draw of being a club that Zidane knows well. There’s the emotional pull there already. It’s been now over two decades since he has been at the club, but he still knows the club. And, if RMC Sport is right, wants to come back in a new role as manager to try and turn this thing around and return Juventus back to its previous glory.
The big aspect of this besides the simple fact that Zidane prefers Juventus over any other potential job out there is the economic one. Allegri is already the highest-paid manager in Serie A and is only halfway through a four-year contract that he signed in the summer of 2021. Zidane ain’t going to come cheap, so you would have to think that his salary would be what at least what Allegri makes right now. That means Juve would be paying a whole lot of money for one guy not to manage the squad while paying another the same amount — and likely more — to actually manage the squad.
With so much uncertainty still out there when it comes to the potential investigations and trials (and penalties), who really knows as of right now if paying Allegri not to manage and bringing in Zidane is actually all that possible. But, if RMC Sport is right, Zidane wants to make his latest comeback to happen at Juventus, so at least they’ve got that going for them.