Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Buffon to leave Paris Saint-Germain

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 5 Jun 2019

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Gianluigi Buffon is leaving Paris Saint-Germain after one season at Parc des Princes, the Ligue 1 champions have confirmed.

Buffon joined the club on a free transfer in July 2018, bringing his glittering 17-year spell at Juventus to an end, and he helped PSG win the Ligue 1 title at a canter.

The 41-year-old former Italy international started 17 of PSG’s 38 league matches, with Alphonse Areola more frequently the preferred option of head coach Thomas Tuchel.

Buffon indicated that he would return to Italy after leaving the French capital, with player and club jointly deciding not to renew his deal.

He told the club’s official website: “I leave happy to have enjoyed this experience which has undoubtedly helped me to grow.

“Today my adventure outside Italy comes to an end. I would like to thank the chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi, the whole club and my team-mates.

“I wish you all the best, convinced that together you will write the pages of a wonderful story.

“Ernest Hemingway wrote that there are only two places in the world where people can live happily: at home and in Paris. Today onwards, this will also apply to me: Paris, in some way, will always remain my home… Allez Paris!”

Buffon stopped short of announcing his destination, but previously said he was considering a one-year contract extension that would have seen him enter his 25th season as a professional.

It is unclear whether he will continue as a player at another club or choose to retire.

Al-Khelaifi said Buffon would be welcomed back in 2020 when the club celebrates its 50th anniversary.

“I will never forget the pride that everyone at Paris Saint-Germain, both the club and the fans, felt when they saw Gianluigi Buffon wearing our jersey,” said Al-Khelaifi.

“For the first time in his fabulous career, Gianluigi had made the brave choice to leave Italy, struck by our ambitious and modern project.

“During his time at PSG he brought his phenomenal experience and his sense of professionalism not only to his team-mates but also to all areas of the club.

“We will be honoured to welcome him again next year, along with other former players, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of our club.”

The news of Buffon’s exit is likely to increase speculation surrounding PSG’s rumoured interest in David de Gea.

The Spain international has been linked with a possible move to the French capital either this year or on a free transfer in 2020 if he does not extend his Manchester United contract.

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