After 19 years at Juventus Italian legend Alessandro Del Piero will be leaving, with a number of teams from all over Europe interested in the midfielder.
Juve president Andrea Agnelli revealed last week that Del Piero is playing his final season for the Bianconeri.
He was told that when his current deal expires in May 2012 that there was no chance of another 12 month rolling contract being agreed.
Del Piero joined the club from Padova as an 18-year-old in 1993 and went on to become the club’s all time leading goal-scorer netting 284 times in 677 appearances.
The 36-year-old also played a major part for his country; scoring 27 times in 91 appearances, joint fourth highest with Roberto Baggio.
He was part of the 2006 World Cup winning side and the European Championship runners-up in 2000, as Italy lost out to France and a David Trezeguet ‘golden goal’.
Many within the club have reacted angrily at the way such a stalwart has been treated and do not want him to leave, with former director Luciano Moggi expressing his dismay at the abruptness of the announcement.
The player himself refused to be drawn on the matter, but told Striscia La Notizia: “Let’s just say that the president reminded me of the expiry date on my contract early.”
Del Piero has stated his desire to play until he is 40 and that he may want to face a new challenge in another country, so as he turns 37 next month it is likely that the remainder of his career will be away from Italy, especially as Padova chairman, Marcello Cestaro, dismissed the possibility of a return to his home club.
Supposedly Swiss outfit, Sion, have already made him an offer and a few Premier League clubs have reportedly been interested too, including QPR and Fulham.
The MLS has also been rumoured as a possible destination, but he’s far from past it and has featured heavily for Juve this season, helping them to the top of Serie A after six games.