Ever since Gigi Buffon walked through the doors at J Medical earlier this month, we pretty much knew that Mattia Perin was going to be heading elsewhere this summer. We didn’t know where, we didn’t know if it would be a loan or a sale, but we knew that last season’s No. 2 goalkeeper behind Wojciech Szczesny wasn’t going to be the same guy this upcoming season.
And now it looks like Perin’s next club is coming into focus.
According to Sky Sport Italia on Saturday night and transfer ace Gianluca Di Marzio, Benfica are close to completing a €15 million for Perin that would see Juve’s current goalkeeper without a place to play for next season find a pretty solid landing spot in hopes of finding regular playing time once again. Perin, who signed with Juventus for €12 million plus bonuses last summer, would likely move to Benfica on loan for the 2019-20 season with a fixed buy-option built into the deal for 12 months from now.
I mean, there could be a lot, lot worse deals out there.
But to see Perin have to go outside of Italy to try and find regular playing time is an interesting twist to the already-whacky backup goalkeeper story at Juventus this summer. With so many Serie A clubs either already set between the sticks entering the summer transfer window or bringing in somebody in June or July to take over as their starter, there were little to no realistic domestic possibilities for Perin to seriously go after. (And maybe none after Roma went out and signed Pau Lopez earlier this month.)
But the obvious need for a new club for Perin was there and painstakingly obvious the second that the return of Buffon became a reality. The good thing for Perin, who turns 27 years old in November, is that it looks like he’s found a very good landing spot in relatively quick order so that he can now try and get back into the Italian national team picture.