Andrea Pirlo has been tasked with the massive job of breathing new life into Juventus. Although the Bianconeri won their ninth Serie A title in succession, their brand of football was unattractive under Maurizio Sarri, while they failed to produce the goods in Europe once again.
The Italian paid the price for Juventus' Champions League elimination, as he was sacked shortly after their defeat against Lyon in the Round of 16. Pirlo, who is hailed as one of the most gifted midfielders of his generation, has his work cut out for him to inspire Juventus, this time from the touchline.
The World Cup winner has no prior managerial experience and was appointed as the manager of Juventus U-23s six days before he was shockingly named as Sarri's replacement.
Reports have emerged that Pirlo is taking no prisoners at the Allianz Stadium and is willing to let go of a handful of ageing stars in order to make Juventus a force to be reckoned with once again. Blaise Matuidi has already secured a move to Inter Miami CF, while Sami Khedira and Gonzalo Higuain are on the verge of having their contracts terminated.
In terms of incomings, Juventus are close to completing the signing of Schalke midfielder Weston McKennie, initially on a loan deal. The American international is unlikely to be the only player who joins the club this summer, as Pirlo looks to bolster his squad ahead of the new season.
Here are five players the Italian manager could target this summer, as he aims to galvanize the Juventus squad and shape a new era at the club.
#5 Hector Bellerin | Arsenal
Hector Bellerin has been a key player for Arsenal over the years, but reports have emerged that the Gunners might be willing to cash in on him if a suitable offer were to arrive this summer. Although he has struggled for form and consistency in the past 12 months, Bellerin is an excellent right-back on his day and is an experienced campaigner despite being just 25 years old.
The Spaniard is one of the quickest players in his position and is capable of making marauding runs down the right flank, while he has also received praise for his ability to contribute on both ends of the pitch.
Bellerin's contract runs out in the summer of 2023, meaning Arsenal are in a good position to demand a hefty transfer fee. The former Barcelona man could be tempted by the prospect of playing Champions League football again in Turin, where he would also reunite with former Arsenal teammate Aaron Ramsey.
#4 Sandro Tonali | Brescia
Sandro Tonali is one of the brightest young midfielders around and has turned heads across Europe with a series of eye-catching performances for Brescia. A defensive midfielder by trade, the young Italian has drawn comparisons with Juventus manager Andrea Pirlo for his style of play.
Although were Brescia were relegated after a solitary season in Serie A, Tonali enjoyed an outstanding season on a personal level and was also called up to the represent the national team at the age of 19.
The youngster's technical ability, elegance and composure have been on display several times in the past 12 months and it remains to be seen if Juventus make a move for him this summer. AC Milan and Inter Milan are currently looking to pip one another for his signing, as Tonali prepares to secure a big-money move in the coming weeks.