JUVENTUS legend Alessandro Del Piero claims it is Pep Guardiola’s destiny to boss the Italian club.
But they face a fight to get him after Guardiola told friends he will stay at Manchester City next season — even if their Champions League ban is upheld.
Juve’s hopes were raised on Friday when City were booted out of Europe for two seasons by Uefa.
And Del Piero said: “In Italy there are already rumours saying that the coach and many players will leave the club. The whole of football thinks they can steal something from Manchester.
“Last summer there was a lot of talk that he was coming to Juventus and that is still happening.”
Speaking at the Laureus Sports Awards in Berlin, Del Piero added: “Every club in the world would love him as a coach and I would love to see Pep in Italy.
“He has won in Spain, Germany and England. If we follow that path I think maybe it is his destiny to go to Juve.”
Former Chelsea boss Ruud Gullit believes the Manchester City manager WILL be on the move this summer.
The Dutch legend, who was part of the AC Milan team that dominated the early 90s, said: “I feel for Manchester City, for the fans, the players, the coaches, everything. It is horrible.
“But I know Pep and know he is anxious to win the Champions League again. I think he will be minded to go to Juventus because we all know they are desperate for him to go there.
“Whether it’s the right thing is another question but he wants to play in the Champions League — and that’s where Pep belongs.”
Despite Juve cranking up the heat, Guardiola has told Spanish pals he intends to at least see out his contract at the Etihad, which runs until summer 2021.
He has a long-standing friendship with City executives Ferran Soriano and Txiki Begiristain and has also built up an excellent relationship with chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak over the last four years.
And Guardiola remains hopeful, like his employers, that the ban will be overturned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
The charges involve financial wrong-doing in the four years before Guardiola took charge in July 2016.
What could be affected though are his hopes of rebuilding his squad during the close season.
City were hoping to bring in at least four new faces after a disappointing Premier League title defence.
But their options and budget could now be limited without the lure of Champions League football.
In addition there are fears some stars could look to leave if the chance of playing in Uefa’s top competition is taken away from them.
Until the hearing by CAS it is likely to cast a cloud over City’s short and long-term planning.
Guardiola was said to be in defiant mood as he addressed his players over the weekend following a winter break.
Soriano also spoke to the squad on Saturday lunchtime, explaining the club believe they will win their appeal at CAS and be in next season’s Champions League.
Meanwhile Guardiola, who spent time back home in Catalonia during the break, told players he wants them to put any worries about next season out of their minds.
Beating Real Madrid in the Champions League last 16 will now be even more important.
City also have the Carabao Cup final against Aston Villa and an FA Cup tie with Sheffield Wednesday coming up.