JUVENTUS

Pogba would be "ideal gift" for new Juventus boss Pirlo - Toni

Luca Toni has tipped former club Juventus to move for Manchester United's Paul Pogba to mark Andrea Pirlo's arrival as new head coach.

Pogba 'the ideal gift' for Pirlo at Juventus, says Toni

Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba would be the "ideal gift" for new Juventus coach Andrea Pirlo following his appointment to replace Maurizio Sarri on Saturday, according to former team-mate Luca Toni.

The France international won eight major honours in four seasons with Juve - three of those playing alongside Pirlo - before returning to Old Trafford in 2016.

Pogba was strongly linked with a move back to the Allianz Stadium last year and is into the final season of his United contract, though there is an option to extend that by 12 months.

Retired forward Toni, who played with Pirlo at both club and international level, believes Pogba would be the perfect signing to mark a new chapter at former club Juventus.

Toni on Pogba returning to Juventus

"Knowing Andrea, he will start building from midfield," he told Tuttosport. "The ideal gift would be Pogba. I don't know if that's possible, but it would certainly be the best option.

"Andrea will not be a coach who focuses on defending and counter-attacking. He loves to dominate the ball and will want to impose that on his team.

"I don't know what system he will use and I don't think it matters. Andrea is intelligent and flexible."

Andrea Pirlo

Pirlo similar to Guardioloa - Toni

Pirlo was named Juve's new head coach on Saturday, hours after Maurizio Sarri's sacking on the back of the Italian champions' last-16 exit against Lyon in the Champions League.

Fabio Capello tipped Pirlo to replicate the success of three-time Scudetto-winning boss Antonio Conte, but Toni thinks he is more similar to Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola.

"Character wise, he's more like Pep," he said. "Having said that, Antonio impressed him a lot during his three years at Juventus.

"But in terms of group management, he was fortunate enough to be coached by the two best: [Carlo] Ancelotti and [Max] Allegri.

"All useful experiences, but in the end, he will be himself. He will be Pirlo and he will go his own way. Without pretending or copying anyone."