Juventus legend Alessandro Del Piero has suggested that it may be Pep Guardiola’s “destiny” to end up in charge of the Serie A champions.
Speculation regarding a switch to Turin for the Catalan coach has been stepped up again.
UEFA have stung City with a two-year ban from Champions League competition for breaching Financial Fair Play regulations.
Guardiola is among those to have seen a move mooted, with the Blues boss yet to commit to an extension to his contract in England beyond 2021.
He could even walk away from that deal in the summer, with Maurizio Sarri’s failure to convince at Juve potentially opening the door for a high-profile post to be filled in Italy.
Del Piero told reporters at the Laureus Sports Awards of the uncertainty surrounding Guardiola: “In Italy there are already rumours saying that the coach and many players will leave the club.
“The whole of football thinks they can steal something from Manchester.
“Last summer there was a lot of talk that he was coming to Juventus and that is still happening.”
The World Cup winner added: “Every club in the world would love him as a coach and I would love to see Pep in Italy.
“He has won in Spain, Germany and England. If we follow that path I think maybe it is his destiny to go to Juve.”
Ruud Gullit, who spent time in Italy and England with AC Milan and Chelsea during his playing days, is another who believes that Guardiola will be seeking a change of scenery at the end of the 2019-20 campaign.
The iconic Dutchman said: “I feel for Manchester City, for the fans, the players, the coaches, everything. It is horrible.
“But I know Pep and know he is anxious to win the Champions League again. I think he will be minded to go to Juventus because we all know they are desperate for him to go there.
“Whether it’s the right thing is another question but he wants to play in the Champions League — and that’s where Pep belongs.”
City are planning to appeal their suspension from elite European competition, with the club confident that they have “irrefutable evidence” in a bid to get sanctions overturned.