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Mar 13, 2014

Pirlo close to penning new Juve deal

Andrea Pirlo says his signing of a new contract with Juventus is merely a formality, with an announcement imminent.

• Horncastle: Let football do the talking
• Rzouki: Juve vs. Fiorentina part II awaits
• Conte primed for Europa League clash

The Italy international's current deal with the Bianconeri is up for renewal in the summer and there have been rumours linking him with a move away from Turin.

Juve's fans need not worry about him leaving, though, with Pirlo telling La Gazzetta dello Sport: "We've just got one appointment after the other right now and we've not had time to organise things, but as soon as we get a minute [it will be signed].

Andrea Pirlo joined Juventus from AC Milan in 2011.

Pirlo added that there are "only minor things" still to be wrapped up before he can put pen to paper on a new deal, which is expected to be for two years.

When asked if  there is a possibility that talks could break down, he answered with an unequivocal "no", before adding that the Juve fans can be relaxed about his future with the club he hopes to lead to Serie A and Europa League glory this season, and then to success in the Champions League.

"That's what we're really pushing for," he said. "[The Europa League] is an important objective. It's like a mini-Champions League and a fundamental step along the way to growth on a European level. If we win it, we can start next season with the UEFA Super Cup. Winning helps you to win. Let's win the double this year, and then we can plan an assault on the Champions League."

Winning the Europa League may be more of a challenge than winning Serie A with league rivals Fiorentina standing between them and a place in the quarterfinals. With many big names still in the competition, Juve face a difficult path to a potential final in their own Juventus Stadium while the road to the scudetto appears less complicated.

"Let's just say last weekend was a huge boost to our chances," Pirlo said of second-placed Roma’s defeat to Napoli. "Now it really is just down to us. Roma continue to go at an extraordinary pace behind us and we've had to play a monstrous season to be where we are. I can guarantee that this Juve have hunger, ferocity and continuity worthy of any of the great sides in the past."

With a 14-point lead at the summit of Serie A, one title seems almost certain for Pirlo. The Europa League could be a second, and then there is the World Cup.

"On a tactical level, nobody is a match for Italy," 34-year-old added. "Furthermore, we've got a solid group of players with heart, and we are able to exceed ourselves in difficulty. Everything I do, I do to win and I knew we would do well at Euro 2012 when only very few believed in us.

"We've got a tough group for sure, but we've got the quality to go through, and then anything's possible."

 

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