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Atalanta sporting director Pier Paolo Marino: Juventus interested in goalkeeper Marco Sportiello

Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

None of us will like what I will type next, but here it goes: Gianluigi Buffon won't be Juventus starting goalkeeper for the rest of time. I know, it's a tough one to comprehend. I would love for San Gigi to play until he's 80 if it was humanly possibly for somebody to not lose a step entering their eighth decade of living.

That means, of course, there will be somebody playing in Juventus' goal after Buffon hangs up his fancy Puma gloves for the final time. (Feel free to take your time, though, GIgi. No rush.) And the eventual successor will be named and hopefully not fold under the pressure of following the footsteps of a living legend.

We know Nicola Leali, currently on loan at Cesena, is still an option for the very near future. But there's a new name being linked with Juventus — Atalanta goalkeeper Marco Sportiello. Why or how do we know this is true? Because Atalanta sporting director Pier Paolo Marino told us so on Friday.

"Juventus is following him and I believe he is a target for Marotta. Let's keep him in Bergamo so he can mature with his important qualities."

(Source: Gianluca Di Marzio)

Seems pretty simple, right?

The good thing for all of us is that we've just seen Sportiello in action against Juventus, so any suspicion that he's some wild character of fiction can be put to rest. Also in that game, Sportiello played pretty darn well, starting rumors that the 22-year-old goalkeeper is of the eye of a certain club in England that goes by the name of Liverpool.

I personally liked the slow-motion distribution out to the left wing. but that's just me. Okay, so maybe those point-blank saves may override such passing slowed down so we can admire it.

If anything, the interest in Sportiello can tell that Juve are thinking of life after Buffon (as hard as it may be to imagine). Juventus have a very good working relationship with Atalanta, having acquired known world-class players like Simone Padoin from the Bergamo-based club in the past. So it's not surprising to see Juve interested in another Atalanta player — especially one who is showing some serious potential like Sportiello, who leads Serie A in saves with 100 this season.