Legend Buffon confirms his successor at Juventus

Matt Stead

Juventus legend Gianluigi Buffon has virtually confirmed that Arsenal’s Wojciech Szczesny will succeed him at the Bianconeri.

The Gunners goalkeeper has been heavily tipped to make a £14million switch to the Champions League finalists this summer after two seasons on loan in Italy with Roma.

However, that deal looked like it was off when Roma president James Palotta insisted that he still expected Szczesny to sign for them.

It now appears, though, that Juve are back in pole position to get their man after Buffon, who was addressing the Italian media ahead of Sunday’s World Cup qualifier between Italy and Liechtenstein, dropped a huge hint on the Poland star’s future.

Buffon, who is contracted to Juventus until June 2018, at which time he is expected to finally hang up his gloves, said: “I am ready to retire with [Gianluigi] Donnarumma here and Szczesny at Juventus. I know I won’t last forever.”

Speaking about his future after football, Buffon added: “I’d like to coach the Italy national team one day.

“It is not as stressful as coaching a club and after so many years in the pitch I will be looking for something more relaxing.”

Buffon also reflected on Juventus’ Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid earlier this month, admitting: “There was way too much optimism for the final against Real Madrid. We were playing against an amazing club.

“I’ve lost and I’ve won many competitions during my career but one has always to look forward.

“The next one could be my last year as a professional footballer and I want to have a leading role.”