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NYCFC nearing link with Italian icon Pirlo

Andrea Pirlo is reportedly leaning toward leaving Italian Serie A club Juventus, despite having one year left on his current contract, to play with New York City FC.

Sydney FC of the Australian A-League has been viewed as one of the top recruiters for the 36-year-old midfielder, but Australian agent Lou Sticca, attempting to lure Pirlo to Sydney, conceded Monday to the Sydney Morning Herald that New York is his most likely destination. Sticca noted Pirlo owns a house in New York.

Pirlo, who helped Italy to the 2006 World Cup title, is still regarded as one of the best playmakers in the world on the pitch. He has played his past four seasons with Juventus, whom he led to the UEFA Champions League final last Saturday, resulting in a 3-1 loss to Barcelona.

If the Italian legend decides to spend the final years of his illustrious 20-year career stateside, he will be teaming up with fellow European soccer icons David Villa and Frank Lampard. Both were signed by NYCFC under the Designated Player Rule, which allows teams to sign a certain number of players outside of the salary cap.

Lampard is set to join the team for the first time next month after fulfilling commitments with Manchester City.

Pirlo offers tremendous offensive ability and leadership to a franchise coming off its first-ever road win last Saturday against the Philadelphia Union to snap an 11-match winless streak. NYCFC returns to action Saturday when they host the Montreal Impact at Yankee Stadium.


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