New York City midfielder Andrea Pirlo has revealed he turned down the opportunity to move back to Inter Milan to work under Roberto Mancini.
Pirlo and NYC currently sit 3rd in the Eastern Conference standings and are set to make their first appearance in the playoffs during this offseason.
Despite moving across the Atlantic from Europe to the United States, Pirlo remained a member of Antonio Conte’s Italy squad during Euro 2016 qualifying and confirmed Inter – who he made 22 appearances for between 1998-2001 – were interested in bringing him back to Serie A.
“I didn’t speak with [then Inter coach Roberto] Mancini, but Inter’s management did make enquiries,” he said.
“But I decided to stay at New York City, also because I had made this decision and turning back didn’t seem right.”
Pirlo has been keeping a keen eye on goings on at former club Juventus this summer and also had his say on Paul Pogba, whom he believes the Serie A champions were correct to sell to Manchester United.
“It was the right choice, when you look at the players who came in,” Pirlo added. “After such a great transfer window, I think Juventus are now built to win everything.
“Looking from the outside, the Italian championship isn’t that bad, but the transfer market showed that Juve are above everyone. It’s like the French league. Juve are in a separate competition – at least, that’s what the transfer window suggested. They’re like PSG.”
The 37-year-old has played all but two of NYC’s 29 league matches this season, scoring once as well as providing five assists for his teammates.
Pirlo has worked with some of the top managers in world football, including Carlo Ancelotti, Marcello Lippi and Massimiliano Allegri, as well as the decorated Antonio Conte and Pirlo thinks his former Juve boss will have no problem in having success in the Premier League.
“I’m glad Conte has started out very well and I’m sure he’ll have a great season,” said Pirlo, who won three consecutive Serie A title under the Chelsea boss.
“He has passion, determination and he’s a football teacher. He has everything to be the best.”