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Andrea Pirlo agrees to take over as Juventus U23 coach with view to becoming first-team manager

ANDREA PIRLO has reportedly agreed to take over as coach of Juventus Under-23s - with the first-team job potentially in his sights.

The former midfielder was first linked with the youth team role a few weeks ago but is now set to make the move official.

On Monday, the Bianconeri kids' season came to an end as they failed to win promotion to Serie B.

A 2-2 draw with Carrarese eliminated Juve from the play-offs due to their opponents' higher league ranking and the defeat has cost coach Fabio Pecchia his job.

Following the widespread rumours that Pirlo is ready to take his first step into management, Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano now claims the deal is done.

Football Italia quote him as saying that Juventus chairman Andrea Agnelli has a grand plan to eventually promote the ex-midfielder to the first-team role - much like Pep Guardiola and Zinedine Zidane's routes to taking charge at Barcelona and Real Madrid.

Maurizio Sarri is set to complete his first season in charge by winning the Scudetto but the club appear to already be identifying his successor.

Reportedly joining Pirlo in Turin as assistant will be ex-Italy international and Napoli youth boss Roberto Baronio.

Pirlo, 41, won two Serie A titles and two Champions Leagues with AC Milan but is arguably more fondly known for his renaissance with Juve in the latter years of his career.

Signing as a free agent in 2011, he lifted the league title in each of his four years at Allianz Stadium.

The Italian hung up his boots after a spell with New York City FC before studying for his coaching badges.

And he will be tasked with bringing Juve's U23 side up to the second-tier in only their third year of playing senior football, after reserve teams were reintroduced to the Italian league system.

Andrea Pirlo bows out in style with star studded testimonial at the San Siro

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