Paris Saint-Germain have offered a contract to Gianluigi Buffon, a source close to the French club has told ESPN FC.
Buffon has announced that he will leave Juventus at the end of the season but not retire, and will play his final match for the club against Hellas Verona on Saturday evening.
According to the source, PSG have put a two-year contract on the table and the 40-year-old is believed to be tempted to continue his playing career, therefore doing a U-turn on his original retirement plans.
The French champions already have goalkeepers Alphonse Areola and Kevin Trapp on the books but talks between sporting director Antero Henrique and new coach Thomas Tuchel have indicated they want to strengthen in that position.
Trapp is expected to be sold this summer, with academy graduate Areola staying at Parc des Princes. Buffon would be brought in primarily because of his experience and character.
Henrique and Tuchel believe that Areola can establish himself as PSG’s undisputed No. 1 goalkeeper in the long-term, but this season has shown that the 25-year-old still has to improve.
Buffon is seen as the perfect mentor and Areola would be prepared to share playing time in order to learn from one of his idols.
The source explained that opportunities to sign players with Buffon’s combination of experience and ability are rare and with UEFA’s financial fair play (FFP) still a consideration, PSG see an opportunity to strengthen without big expenditure.
Other targets include AC Milan’s Gianluigi Donnarumma and Atletico Madrid’s Jan Oblak but signing Buffon would enable the Ligue 1 club to still move forward Areola and guarantee his long-term future.
Buffon’s agent, Silvano Martina, has confirmed there are some attractive offers.
“There are certainly offers from clubs for Buffon, both on the field and off it, but he’s not decided yet,” Martina told Radio Sportiva. “Gigi didn’t want to talk about [who the clubs are] so I think it’s right that I don’t talk about it either. It’s right that he takes 10 days for reflection.”
Buffon may still decide to retire or go somewhere else for greater guaranteed minutes, but for now, PSG are unaware of any rival offers from clubs such as Atletico Madrid or Liverpool.
Jonathan Johnson covers PSG and the French national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @Jon_LeGossip.