When Gianluigi Buffon left Juventus and decided to head to Paris Saint-Germain for a season, it was a surprise to many. Rather than retiring at the club he’d spent two decades at, Buffon made the decision to play outside of Italy for the first time in his career.
Could that be in the cards again?
That’s at least a thought that is being entertained, according to a pair of Italian news outlets at the beginning of this work week.
According to both Tuttosport and La Gazzetta dello Sport, the 43-year-old Buffon is entertaining the thought of not extending his contract with Juventus another season and instead heading to a club abroad before he hangs up his Puma goalkeeper gloves once and for all. While no final decision has been made and staying at Juventus for the 2021-22 season is still possible, Buffon will have a meeting over dinner with club president Andrea Agnelli — and you gotta think that’s gonna be a damn good meal — once the current campaign is over (or at least after the Coppa Italia final against Atalanta where he is expected to start in goal).
Buffon, who returned to Juventus two years ago after his one season in Paris, has been serving as Wojciech Szczesny’s backup during his second stint with the Italian champions. Part of the reason why there is a line of thinking that Buffon might go elsewhere is that he would like to be a starter — or at least get something that is close to the kind of minutes a starter could get — one more time before he retires. As Tuttosport eludes to, he has a very good rapport with the other keepers at Juventus — and anybody who sees him with Carlo Pinsoglio on the bench during games understands that — but the desire to play more is definitely there.
There are not any potential clubs being thrown out there like there was the first time around when Buffon left following the 2017-18 campaign.
Buffon has played in 10 games in all competitions this season, with half of those coming in Serie A and four in the Coppa Italia. He would have to play around half of Juventus’ remaining games if he were to match his appearance total from last season when he started 15 games in all competitions.