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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 16 December 2018

Andrea Pirlo to join Chelsea coaching staff? 'People are saying that but I need time to decide'

Italian midfielder is set to retire at the end of the 2017 MLS season following a 22-year career that has included six Serie A titles and the 2006 World Cup.

Andrea Pirlo, centre, XXXXX. Nicolas Tanner / AP Photo
Andrea Pirlo, centre, XXXXX. Nicolas Tanner / AP Photo

Former Italy midfielder Andrea Pirlo has said he is aware of the speculation linking him with a move to Chelsea to join Antonio Conte's backroom staff but added he still has not decided his next move.

New York City FC midfielder Pirlo, 38, will retire at the end of the Major League Soccer season, bringing and end to one of the most illustrious careers in modern football.

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Pirlo has made clear in the past his intentions to enter into coaching, and recent reports claimed he could be on his way to Stamford Bridge to join Conte, with whom he worked at Juventus and the Italy national team. However, Pirlo insists no decision has yet been made.

“An assistant to Conte? People are saying that. I have my ideas but I need time to decide," he told Gazetta dello Sport. “My future, I don’t know yet. I will return to Italy in December.”

Pirlo announced his decision to retire on Sunday after two years in the MLS. During a 22-year playing career spent at Brescia, Inter Milan, AC Milan and Juventus, Pirlo has won six Serie A titles, two Uefa Champions League titles, and two Coppa Italias. Pirlo was made 116 appearances for Italy and played a central role in their 2006 World Cup triumph.