Antonio Conte's hopes of reuniting with Andrea Barzagli at Chelsea next year have been crushed, after the veteran defender committed his future to Juventus. The Serie A champions have confirmed that the Italian defender, along with teammate and compatriot Gianluigi Buffon, has extended his deal with the Old Lady until 30 June 2018.
The Times reported last month that the incoming Chelsea boss had earmarked Barzagli and his teammate Leonardo Bonucci among targets to bolster the Blues' defensive options. The Italian boss was understood to be seeking an experienced centre-back to lead the backline amid the uncertain future of John Terry at Stamford Bridge.
Barzagli joined Juventus from Wolfsburg in January 2011 and developed into a key figure for Conte during his three-year spell at Juventus between 2011 and 2014, as the club won three straight scudetti.
The Italian has remained an important player under current Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri, making 40 appearances this term. However, his future at the club was called into question with his current deal set to expire at the end of the season.
Some reports believed Conte would take advantage of the situation by signing him on a free transfer.
However, Conte will have to look elsewhere now, with Barzagli putting pen to paper on a deal that ties him to Juventus until beyond his 37th birthday.
"Juventus Football Club is delighted to announce that Andrea Barzagli and Gianluigi Buffon have both extended their contracts until 30 June 2018," the Serie A outfit confirmed.
"Since reuniting following their World Cup winning adventure with the Azzurri in 2006, Barzagli and Buffon have enjoyed immense success together in the black and white stripes, winning five consecutive Scudetto titles, three Italian Super Cups and one Coppa Italia."