Juventus boss gives glowing praise to veteran playmaker.
Juventus manager Antonio Conte has appeared to play down rumours that veteran midfielder Andrea Pirlo no longer features in his plans and could be sold, in an interview with UEFA.com.
The 34-year-old playmaker had yesterday been linked with an exit from Juventus as he is yet to agree on a contract extension with the club, seeing the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham show a strong interest in securing his services.
Pirlo’s performances over the last decade have seen him become widely regarded as one of the finest midfielders of his generation, and is still a highly rated talent even in the advancing years of his career, and his manager has described him as a player who is “hard to find”.
As well as praising his technique and intelligence, Conte believes Pirlo is still in good shape physically, and not contributing any less to his team through his running or work-rate.
“Players like Andrea are hard to find,” he said. “Because they have such extraordinary ball technique.
“He brings calm to the team in possession and anticipates play. Adding those talents to an organised system where everybody knows what they have to do, his qualities come out even better.
“Andrea doesn’t run any less than before. I have studied the statistics and he is in the top ten players who have run the most in the Champions League.”
Interested parties in the Premier League will still be hoping to lure him to England this January, with United in particular lacking a natural replacement to the recently-retired Paul Scholes, though they also have a number of other targets in this area when the transfer window re-opens.