An announcement everybody knew was coming.
Gianluigi Buffon yesterday confirmed that he will leave Juventus after 17 years with club, playing his last fixture against Hellas Verona on Saturday. However, the 40-year-old refused to confirm whether he was going to retire from the game altogether.
“Up to two week ago, it was certain that I was going to quit playing, but now there are some offers that have arrived to continue playing.”
Buffon mentioned that he had received some interesting offers from overseas, which has naturally prompted speculation linking him with moves to Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain and Liverpool.
RealSport examine where the legendary goalkeeper should go next.
1 Paris Saint-Germain
If Buffon wants money and silverware, PSG is perhaps the option he should choose. The French champions are essentially a given for the Ligue 1 title and his reputation commands a hefty wage, especially under the precedents their Qatari owners have established.
From a club perspective, the move is an easy decision. PSG can extract another top-class season from the Italian and he'll be able to instil into them a winner's mentality, something they perhaps lack in European competition.
Furthermore, it's a chance for current number one Alphonse Areola to learn from a goalkeeping icon firsthand and consolidate his position long term.
Buffon is arguably the ideal signing to propel them into contention for the Champions League, something Neymar has not yet been able to do, though he was injured for a large portion of the season.
2 Manchester City
Pep Guardiola's title-winners have, too, expressed an interest in the Italian's services, but it's not a move that makes sense.
Buffon would likely play second fiddle to the impressive Ederson and despite forging a reputation as a world class shot-stopper, he's not particularly impressive on the ball, a crucial component to a Guardiola 'keeper.
Moreover, City have experienced title-winners in their squad, including Sergio Aguero, David Silva and Vincent Kompany. Whilst Buffon's experience would prove invaluable for a team looking to dominate both domestically and continentally, the Citizens don't need it as much as others.
However, moving to City offers the Italian the best chance of winning the Premier League and, perhaps, Champions League too.
Liverpool are, therefore, the best option for Buffon in terms of playing time. In his own words, the 40-year-old is a "competitive animal" and it seems unlikely he'd move to a club to simply warm the bench.
At Anfield, Buffon would undoubtedly be Liverpool's number one ahead of Simon Mignolet and Loris Karius, providing crucial experience the Reds could use to take the next step domestically and compete for Premier League titles.
However, Buffon has never won the Champions League and, despite reaching this season's final, many would be surprised if Liverpool were to run that deep again.
If European glory is the aim, Liverpool isn't the best destination.
Should Buffon move to one of these clubs? Is there somewhere else that would be better? Let us know in the comments section below.
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