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Goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon close to Parma move

Transfer News

Gianluigi Buffon is set to make a surprise return to Parma after rejecting Barcelona to sign a two-year agreement with the Serie B team that would keep him playing until he is 45 years old.

Buffon was a goalkeeper with Parma from 1995 to 2001, when he moved to Juventus for £32 million, a then-record fee for a goalkeeper. He came to Turin to take the position of Edwin van der Sar.

Goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon close to Parma move

According to Sky Sports in Italy, Buffon is ready to return to Juventus after quitting the club and considering his alternatives. He’s also staying in Italy for family reasons, and he’ll be signing a two-year deal soon. Buffon left Parma for Juventus in 2001 and will now return to the club 20 years later.

Parma, who finished last in the Italian top flight in 2020/21 with a meager 20 points, is Buffon’s target for promotion back to Serie A. He also has high aspirations for a spot in Italy’s 2022 World Cup squad, which will compete in Qatar. The 43-year-old has 176 Italy caps and won the World Cup in 2006. He will not be a part of Roberto Mancini’s Euro 2020 squad.

Buffon will join a roster that contains some familiar names from his previous squad once his contract with Juventus expires.

Javier Ribalta, a former Manchester United player, is Parma’s technical director and formerly worked for Juventus, while Enzo Maresca, a former teammate of Buffon, is Parma’s manager.

Buffon previously played 220 games with Parma, winning the UEFA Cup, Coppa Italia, and Italian Super Cup in 1999. He has agreed to a two-year deal with his old team, who will compete in Serie B in 2021-22.

Despite his clear fondness for Parma, Buffon arrives confident that he is the best goalkeeper in the world and has turned down offers from throughout Europe.

Barcelona was eager to lure him to the country, with manager Ronald Koeman hoping to take advantage of the free agency market while the club assesses the financial implications of the Covid-19 crisis. He was also offered a contract by Besiktas in Turkey, but he intends to stay in Italian football unless he has a last-minute change of heart. Parma is keen to make the agreement public and wants to do so within the next few days.

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