Gianluigi Buffon targeted by Arsenal

31 March 2011 10:53
Arsenal are weighing up the option of signing Italy's veteran goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon on a free transfer from Juventus.

Arsene Wenger has turned to Jens Lehmann to try and solve his long-standing problems in goal, but the 41-year-old made a less than impressive return for the reserves at Wigan on Tuesday.

Now the Arsenal boss is considering Buffon whose 10-year stay in Turin is expected to end in the summer as Juve look to offload his ?125,000-a-week salary.

All action hero: Buffon will be available on a free in summer

It is doubtful that Arsenal would pay that much for a 33-year-old who has struggled with injury but, surprisingly, there would be no fee for Buffon under a clause inserted in his contract when he agreed to stay with Juve following the club's demotion to Serie B in 2006.

That makes him considerably more affordable than Pepe Reina, Maarten Stekelenburg and Manuel Neuer who are all valued in the ?15-20million bracket.

Buffon, a World Cup winner who has been capped more than 100 times by Italy, has made it clear that he would only consider London if he moved to the Barclays Premier League.

Pointing the way: A host of European suitors are on alert with Juventus preparing to offload high-earning Buffon

Manchester City were interested in signing Buffon last season but the emergence and impressive form of England goalkeeper Joe Hart has forced a rethink from the mega rich club.

'Juventus stay? I don't know, we will have to evaluate things with the club. What we do know is that he still has a two-year deal there,' agent Silvano Martina said of Buffon, whose Juve deal expires in 2013.

'As for Manchester City I don't believe so as they have the England national goalkeeper and I know Mancini is happy with him. Therefore there is no possibility.'

Hands on: Buffon is still Italy's No 1 and regarded by many as the best in the world

However, Roma remain favourites to sign him if Thomas DiBenedetto, a partner of Liverpool owner John Henry, completes his takeover and installs a permanent manager - possibly Carlo Ancelotti - to replace Claudio Ranieri.

Lehmann, however, tried to search for the positives from an error-strewn comeback game, saying: 'It was a good experience. It is always good to learn a little bit what I could have done better.' 

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 Explore more:People: Jens Lehmann, Pepe Reina, Carlo Ancelotti, Joe Hart Places: Liverpool, London, Italy, United Kingdom

Source: Daily_Mail