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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Andrea Pirlo to sign MLS contract with NYCFC next week - source

Italian star Andrea Pirlo will sign with New York City FC of Major League Soccer next week, a source with knowledge of the deal told ESPN Deportes' Roberto Abramowitz.

The MLS expansion franchise plan to annouce the deal on either Wednesday or Thursday, the source said.

Pirlo, 36, will sign an 18-month contract with NYCFC, taking him through the 2016 season, with an additional option for 2017, according to the source.

The midfielder will being training with the team on July 21 and be eligible to make his debut on July 26 when NYCFC hosts fellow expansion side Orlando City at Yankee Stadium.

Pirlo has won the Serie A title with Juventus in all four of his seasons there after playing 10 years for AC Milan. He won the 2006 World Cup with Italy.

Earlier on Saturday, ESPN FC reported that it was only a matter of time before Pirlo put pen to paper on an MLS contract.

Andrea Pirlo will have to make the most of his time on the ball against Barcelona's swirling midfielders and defenders.
Andrea Pirlo will complete his move to Major League Soccer next week, a source tells ESPN.

He has one year left on his contract at Juventus but is very close to Bianconeri president Andrea Agnelli, who would not stand in Pirlo's way if he wanted to join MLS this summer, especially as the Italian champions have already signed Sami Khedira as a possible midfield replacement.

Pirlo will be NYCFC's third Designated Player. He'll join former Chelsea legend Frank Lampard in the midfield and give the club a trio of European stars with Spanish striker David Villa also on the books.

Pirlo attended the Yankees' Old-Timers' Day celebrations last Saturday before going on holiday in Miami.

Speaking on Thursday, MLS commissioner Don Garber was hesitant to confirm any pending deals when asked about Pirlo.

"I don't want to spend a lot of time talking about a player that I don't know will be here," Garber said.

"Clearly [Pirlo's] a world-class player who just played in the Champions League final. He's a legend. I'm not gonna worry about rating him or talking about him until he makes a decision and New York City makes a decision as to whether or not he's gonna be here."

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