Andrea Pirlo: Gonzalo Higuain to leave, new Juventus manager reveals

Andrea Pirlo
Andrea Pirlo's coaching career has started right at the top

Juventus manager Andrea Pirlo has revealed striker Gonzalo Higuain will leave the club.

Former Juve midfielder Pirlo, 41, was holding his first news conference since he replaced the sacked Maurizio Sarri on 8 August for his first senior job.

He said Paulo Dybala, 26, will remain at the club but fellow Argentine forward Higuain, 32, will go.

"He was a great champion, a great player but the cycle is over," Pirlo said.

"We looked each other in the eyes, we talked and we made this decision. I admire him a lot, but we have decided that the paths will separate."

Juve made Higuain the third most expensive transfer ever when they paid £75m to sign him from Napoli in 2016.

He scored 66 goals in 149 games - as well as having loan spells at AC Milan and Chelsea - but never quite lived up to expectations.

Dybala has been linked to other clubs but Pirlo plans on keeping the number 10, and star frontman Cristiano Ronaldo.

"Dybala has never been on the market. For me he is an important player. As soon as he returns, he will be part of the project," Pirlo said.

"We have already chatted with Ronaldo and we will have time to talk about tactics and roles."

'I'm in the right place at the right time'

Pirlo, who won four Serie A titles as a player with Juve, was named as their under-23 boss at the end of July.

A week later he was their senior manager after the club sacked Sarri, who left despite winning the Serie A title in his first season in charge.

"I didn't have time to think," said Pirlo.

"It was all very fast, I threw myself into it, but if I made this choice it is because I am convinced that I am in the right place at the right time."

He says he will be flexible with tactics but the important thing is that the team plays "with joy".

"To bring enthusiasm you have to work, talk to the players, make them participate and make them understand our new way of playing," he said.

"I want to bring back the DNA of work and sacrifice."

Top Stories

Elsewhere on the BBC