Europe news

Pirlo likely to leave Milan

May 8, 2011
By ESPNsoccernet staff

Andrea Pirlo looks likely to leave AC Milan this summer after helping secure the Rossoneri's first Serie A title since 2004.

Andrea Pirlo's time at AC Milan is at an end
GettyImagesAndrea Pirlo's time at AC Milan is at an end

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Pirlo has been at the San Siro for ten years but has endured an injury-plagued season that has limited him to just 12 league starts.

The 31-year-old has been linked with a move to Juventus when his contract expires on June 30, with both the player and the club suggesting he will not be offered a new deal.

Milan's assistant boss Mauro Tassotti said the club's manager, Massimiliano Allegri, "wants different characteristics".

"Allegri wants a player with more defensive characteristics compared to Andrea when sitting in front of the defence," Tassotti said. "We wanted to see how he could do in a wider role, but then Andrea started to have injury problems that kept him off the field for many months.

"I don't know if we'll take different paths now, as that is a problem we'll have to wait and see about. In any case, Pirlo remains an important player not just for Milan but for Italian football."

As for Pirlo, he was less than convincing when asked about his future during Milan's title celebrations. He said: "We'll see if I'm at Milan next season.

"The whole season has been unlucky for me, but this title party makes up for that. Massimiliano Allegri did a great job of finding the right mix to win a difficult tournament. We always saw Inter as our main rivals for the Scudetto, as they are the team to beat."

As for his future, he would not be drawn on his next move: "I don't know what will happen. I tell the fans that they have been wonderful throughout."