Juventus sack Maurizio Sarri: Zinedine Zidane the Italian club’s first choice target

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Less than 24 hours after they were dumped out of the Champions League by Lyon, Juventus announced that Maurizio Sarri had been relieved of his duties.

Juve beat Lyon 2-1 thanks to a Cristiano Ronaldo brace, but Memphis Depay’s crucial away goal sent the French side through to the quarter-finals.

In a statement on Saturday, the Old Lady announced: “Juventus Football Club announces that Maurizio Sarri has been relieved of his post as coach of the First Team.

“The club would like to thank the coach for writing a new page in Juventus history with the victory of the ninth consecutive Scudetto, the culmination of a personal journey that has led him to climb all the categories of Italian football.”

Juve have now begun the hunt for Sarri’s successor and it’s understood that they have now decided on their first-choice target.

According to the Daily Mail’s Alvise Cagnazzo, the Italian champions want Zinedine Zidane to leave Madrid for Turin.

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Zidane’s Real Madrid were also dumped out of the Champions League on Friday night - after losing 4-2 on aggregate to Manchester City - but there is no suggestion that the Frenchman is under pressure at the Bernabeu.

Nevertheless, it seems Juve will attempt to try and lure Zidane to the Allianz Stadium.

Zidane, who is undoubtedly one of the greatest footballers of all time, spent five years with the Serie A outfit between 1996-2001.

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After Real Madrid’s Champions League exit, he told reporters: “We will see what happens next season. Now it's time to rest, I'm here and I'm the Real Madrid manager until something happens.”

However, Zidane has fond memories from his time at Juventus and hinted back in 2016 that he could return to the club as a coach one day.

“Juve made me grow as a footballer and as a man,” he said when inaugurating the Z5 Sports Center four years ago. “It's always an emotion to come back here as I played five years in Turin.

'With Juventus there is something special: it was important for me. One day I could coach in Turin, you never know.'

If Juventus fail to convince Zidane to leave the Bernabeu, they will turn their focus to former Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino.

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The revered Argentine coach has been out of work since Spurs replaced him with Jose Mourinho last November.

It would be a shock if Zidane left Real Madrid for Juventus, even though it’s clear he holds a soft spot for his former employers.

Madrid president Florentino Perez, who has already lost Zidane’s services once before, will surely do everything in his power to keep the 48-year-old in the Spanish capital.

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