Juventus make Zinedine Zidane their No 1 choice to replace Sarri

Zinedine Zidane

Juventus have made Zinedine Zidane their No 1 target following the sacking of manager Maurizio Sarri on Saturday afternoon.

The Italian champions dispensed with Sarri after just one season in the wake of their dismal Champions League exit to Lyon on Friday night.

And Juventus supremo Andrea Agnelli has already targeted former midfielder Zidane, the manager of Real Madrid, to succeed him.

Former Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino is the Turin club’s second choice behind Zidane.

Talks with Real president Florentino Perez over Zidane are imminent as the Spanish champions also lick their wounds following a Champions League exit on Friday.

Agnelli will do anything to bring Zidane back to Juventus, the club he represented with distinction as a player for five years between 1996 and 2001.

And star player Cristiano Ronaldo would like to work under Zidane again following their success together at Real Madrid.

In the wake of Real’s last-16 exit to Manchester City on Friday, Zidane said: ‘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.’

But their failure in the Champions League means Juventus may be able to prise Zidane away this summer. The Frenchman enjoys very good relations with Agnelli and they are frequently in contact by phone.

Zidane has always wanted to coach Juventus while Agnelli has promised the three-time Champions League winner the job sooner or later.

Zidane still spends time in Turin for family and business reasons and even uses the same taxi driver from his time there as a player.

He has also often praised Juventus. In 2016, when inaugurating the Z5 Sports Center, he said: ‘Juve made me grow as a footballer and as a man. 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.’

The sports complex was opened by Zidane following others in Aix-en-Provence, Marseille and Madrid and features a five-a-side football centre and restaurant.

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