It was around this time last year, in the first few weeks of the 2019-20 Serie A season being in lockdown as the coronavirus pandemic ripped through Italy, that there was talk of Giorgio Chiellini and Gianluigi Buffon both extending their contracts for another season. They eventually did just that a couple of months later, with the two Juve stalwarts committing to the team no matter how diminished their roles might end up being.
This March, as we get ready to hit the final two months of the 2020-21 season, the feeling surrounding Chiellini and Buffon’s respective futures are very much the complete opposition.
According to Sky Sport Italia’s Gianluca Di Marzio on Tuesday night, Juventus has not talked begun talks with either the 36-year-old Chiellini or the 43-year-old Buffon regarding contracts for the 2021-22 season. While talks are expected soon, there definitely seems like a real possibility that Chiellini could retire at the end of the current campaign following another injury-filled season, while talk of Buffon leaving Juventus for a second time to seek more playing time and/or another chance to play aboard has been a topic of discussion during the current international break.
In case you don’t want to test your Italian translating software, here’s the English version of what Di Marzio is reporting:
These two months until the end of the season could be the last ones for Buffon and Chiellini with Juventus. Until now the club hasn’t started any negotiation for the renewals, but soon they will talk with the two players. Juventus isn’t willing to renew their contracts, but Agnelli will talk personally with the two symbols of the club in the following weeks, in order to decide their future.
You can read into all you want, but it definitely looks as though any kind of contract extension talks will be as a result of the players’ desire to continue on with Juventus another year rather than the club itself. That’s basically how things were last season when Chiellini and Buffon were deciding whether or not to come back for another season. And that’s how it is essentially now.
But, another year older, another year with more injuries in Chiellini’s case and a squad that is in need of another injection of youth during the summer transfer window, then more changes could be in the cards for Juve’s current captain and the man who wore the armband right before him.