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Report: Juventus 'in the lead' to sign Fiorentina goalkeeper Neto

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Gianluigi Buffon isn't getting any younger. Marco Storari's contract is up at the end of the season. Does that mean Juventus are searching for a new backup goalkeeper to God?

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Not that I'm bitter or anything, but it's quite ironic that stories about Juventus searching for a post-Gigi Buffon era goalkeeper whenever the legendary captain goes all H.A.M. between the posts a day or two earlier.

Tuesday's transfer rumor mongering brings us the word that Juventus are continuing to monitor the situation regarding Fiorentina and 25-year-old goalkeeper Neto negotiating a new contract. Negotiations aren't going so well if you read what the Italian press is putting out there these days, which means Juventus might find themselves ready to pull the trigger on a deal to bring the Brazilian to Turin next summer.

More on the whole Neto-Fiorentina-Juventus standing courtesy of the Transfer Oracle...

Fiorentina is trying to resolve the Neto situation. The Brazilian goalkeeper's contract is set to expire in June, and Juventus is lurking. The bianconeri are in the lead to sign him should Fiorentina not be able to extend his contract. Roma on the other hand doesn't appear to be as interested as the bianconeri, the giallorossi will take a few days to ponder what they want to do next. Should Neto not extend his contract, Juventus is ready to sign him to become Buffon's backup and potential long term replacement.

(Source: Gianluca Di Marzio)

Based on the paragraph above, it's easy to see what the determining factor is: If Fiorentina doesn't re-sign Neto to a brand new contract. There are other teams interested, of course, but the biggest thing in this whole situation is Fiorentina and Neto either agreeing to a new deal or parting ways.

The also big determining factor in all of this: Does Neto, who has been Fiorentina's starter the past two seasons, really want to be Buffon's backup for the next couple of years at the very minimum? As we've seen, it's not like Buffon is really slowing down physically. And, as happened just over a month ago, Buffon doesn't have the desire to step aside in the immediate future, either.

Maybe Neto signs a new deal with Fiorentina and all of this is a moot point. (Although, the way things sound now, who really knows what is going to happen with all of that.) But with Marco Storari still unsigned after this season, maybe the Juventus management are starting to look beyond this season when it comes to the goalkeeper position. Well, outside of Buffon being his usual awesome self, of course.