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Juventus has to at least try to sign Gianluigi Donnarumma this summer ... right?

AC Milan v Juventus FC - Serie A Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

The calcio news of the day on Thursday has centered around the talk surrounding 18-year-old goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma and Milan announcing that he will not be signing a fresh contract extension this summer. It’s the latest step in what has become a process that has seen the golden boy of the New Milan suddenly look like he’s heading out the Milanelo door at some point of the next few months.

He’s been linked to Real Madrid already.

He’s been linked to Manchester United already.

He’s been linked to Paris Saint-Germain already.

He’s been linked to just about anybody who can afford what is likely to be a massive transfer fee, probably an even bigger total salary and maybe an even larger buyout clause if it’s inserted into the contract by Super Agent Mino.

Oh yeah, he’s also been linked to Juventus — again.

Donnarumma’s current contract runs out at the end of the 2017-18 season. Another Gigi, legendary Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, is set to retire after the 2018 World Cup in Russia. You can probably tell where I’m going with this. You all are smart and can connect the dots regarding one Gigi potentially replacing the other.

The main question is this: Is it the right move?

An initial reaction would be something along the lines “OH HELL YES IT IS.”

I get it. Donnarumma is 18, on the brink of stardom, has been absolutely sensational for Milan ever since he made his debut two years ago and only looks to be getting better and better. He’s the kind of teenage sensation in goal along the same lines of Buffon was two decades ago when he burst onto the scene with Parma and subsequently became a mainstay in the Italian national team’s goal.

There’s a lot to like about Juventus trying to sign Donnarumma this summer. There’s a lot to like about one Gigi following another in Juventus’ goal and (hopefully) having that position on the field not be an issue another decade or two like is with the current Gigi in goal. There’s a lot to like about Donnarumma period.

And that’s why you have to think that a shrewd and smart front office led by Beppe Marotta and Fabio Paratici will at least entertain the idea of bringing Donnarumma in while he’s basically been put out on the open market.

Unlike when Juventus came out of nowhere and swooped in for a club-record fee to bring Gonzalo Higuain aboard last summer, I feel safe in saying the bidding war to try and secure Donnarumma’s services is going to be one of the more fascinating things going on this summer. You see the money being spent on young and talented goalkeepers this summer — Manchester City and Ederson, Everton and Jordan Pickford — and then factor in that Donnarumma is younger than them all and quite possibly better ... that sounds like a match made in big transfer fee heaven.

There, of course, is more than just the simple dollars and cents of the deal.

Knowing that Buffon has a year left, how would Donnarumma fit into next season’s puzzle if he were to sign with Juventus? And, if he does arrive, can you imagine the sheer pressure that would be on him replacing the greatest goalkeeper to ever play this freakin’ game we love and follow so much? He’s shown that he’s a pretty cool customer during in-game scenarios ever since he made his debut two years ago — although all of this contract drama might have some people thinking something different right now.

For how good he is, don’t forget that Donnarumma is still just a teenager and will be one for the better part of the next years. Filling the shoes of a world-class player is quite a task in of itself. Filling the shoes of your role model and the GOAT of all GOATs in goal is something up a few more levels entirely.

No matter what, though, Donnarumma signing with Juventus is quite an interesting possibility. The rumors of Juventus trying to sign the 18-year-old prodigy won’t die down over the next few days. And while he does like to talk and run his mouth from time to time, Marco Verratti’s agent did say he believes Juve will make a big splash for a player this summer. You never know, that could be Donnarumma.


Should Juventus go all-out in trying to sign Gianluigi Donnarumma this summer?

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