Barcelona were reportedly interested in signing Gianluigi Donnarumma on a free deal this summer. Seeing as that didn’t quite materialise, the name of another Italian goalkeeper on a free was also thrown in the mix.
This time, however, it was the considerably more experienced -and older- Gianluigi Buffon, who has reportedly turned down Barcelona’s offer, according to The Daily Mail.
The 43-year-old truly is at the twilight of his career and he will be leaving Juventus on a free deal this summer. The Catalans are in the market for an experienced goalkeeper to provide backup to Marc Andre ter Stegen, which Buffon seems to provide.
That said, the Italian is allegedly against the idea of being a backup keeper and would much rather prefer to be the no. 1 choice for a club which, owing to his age, would have to be a smaller club than either Juventus or Barcelona,
Buffon is looking at his 26th season as a professional footballer at a whopping 43 years of age, and although it was assumed that his role would be severely shortened ever since his return to Juventus from Paris Saint-Germain, the Italian allegedly no longer wants to be in a number 2 position and would much rather be the first-choice goalkeeper.
Many have speculated the reason as to why Buffon has wanted this for himself, especially considering his age which is far older than the average age of a professional goalkeeper (Buffon is older than some managers).
Reportedly, it is linked with the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, for which Buffon wants to be selected and believes the only way that would be possible would be to play regular football. This would be Buffon’s 5th World Cup Appearance (6th if the qualified last time) and his competition, ironically, would be Gianluigi Donnarumma.