Report: PSG's Gianluigi Buffon, Thomas Tuchel 'Set for Showdown' over Role

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistSeptember 18, 2018

TOPSHOT - Paris Saint-Germain's Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon sits on the bench during the French Ligue 1 football match between Paris Saint-Germain and St Etienne at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris on September 14, 2018. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE / AFP)        (Photo credit should read FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)
FRANCK FIFE/Getty Images

Paris Saint-Germain goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon and manager Thomas Tuchel are reportedly "set for [a] showdown" over the role of the former, as the tactician is determined to keep Alphonse Areola as his top option in goal. 

Per Goal's Peter Staunton, the comments the former Borussia Dortmund boss made during his appearance on RMC Sport may have been walked back by the club, but Tuchel is still determined to stick with Areola.

In the interview, Tuchel made his position clear:

footballitalia @footballitalia

#PSG Coach Thomas Tuchel says Alphonse Areola is “in pole position” to be number one goalkeeper, ahead of Gianluigi Buffon. https://t.co/f6HVA0kc4O https://t.co/uJz3PDMRQ0

Per Staunton, PSG have since played down those comments. The interview took place in German and was then translated into French, and Les Parisiens claim Tuchel's answers were lost in translation. They say manager told Areola he would be the starter before Buffon signed with the club.

The former Juventus man joined the Ligue 1 giants in the summer after spending more than 15 years in Turin. Now 40 years old, he's expected to make one final push to win the UEFA Champions League and serve as a mentor for academy product Areola.

The France international was the team's main starter last season but fell short of the expectations. 

According to Staunton, Buffon's signing was ordered by team officials. Tuchel's pick has always been Areola, and the boss is determined to stick with as many academy graduates as possible.

Areola will have the chance to stake his claim on Tuesday, as Buffon will miss out on the Champions League contest with Liverpool:

Jonathan Johnson @Jon_LeGossip

Garissone Innocent is reportedly PSG's 3rd GK in Liverpool with Gianluigi Buffon suspended. #UCL https://t.co/KkfzkxjZz7

The two were always expected to rotate, with Buffon taking charge of the more high-profile contests in Europe. He may have to settle for a spot on the bench if Areola is Tuchel's first choice, however.


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