Report: PSG to Announce Gianluigi Buffon Transfer Next Week After UEFA Ban DelayJune 11, 2018
Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain will reportedly announce Gianluigi Buffon's transfer "between Tuesday and Wednesday next week" after his three-match UEFA ban caused a delay.
According to Kaustubh Pandey of Italian website CalcioMercato, Buffon will sign a two-year deal with the club worth roughly €7 million plus bonuses. On top of that, he'll receive a role as a 2022 World Cup ambassador.
The announcement has been expected for some time, but his ban after an incident involving referee Michael Oliver in the UEFA Champions League quarter-final against Real Madrid complicated matters:
The 40-year-old has spent the bulk of his career with Juventus, putting together a resume that places him among the best the sport has ever seen. He joined the club as the most expensive goalkeeper of all time and remained fiercely loyal to the Bianconeri, even after they were relegated following the Calciopoli scandal.
As expected, his goodbye was an emotional one:
Buffon was still an effective stopper in the 2017-18 campaign, splitting time in goal with former Arsenal star Wojciech Szczesny. While most expected him to retire and take a position with the Italian champions in the summer, his good form likely convinced PSG to try to change his mind.
Les Parisiens have struggled to find a dependable option in goal for some time now. Last season, academy product Alphonse Areola was the team's primary starter, but the 25-year-old struggled for form and did not do enough to secure his spot for the future.
PSG have invested in the likes of Salvatore Sirigu and Kevin Trapp in the past, and they have a solid prospect in Sebastien Cibois. The Ligue 1 giants are still expected to bring in a top name in the summer, however, and the experienced Buffon could be the perfect man.
The 2006 World Cup-winner should slot into the squad seamlessly and has an excellent reputation as a mentor for younger players. His bags of experience should do wonders in training for Areola and Cibois, providing both stay at the club, and one of those two could be in line to replace him in two years if they improve enough.
Juventus paired Buffon with another good goalkeeper the last few years―before Szczesny, it was Norberto Neto―and PSG would be wise to do the same, keeping Areola around for cup ties and a good amount of Ligue 1 contests.
Buffon will also be unavailable for half of the Champions League group stages if this move goes ahead, another reason not to cash in on Areola at this point.