Gianluigi Buffon’s Juventus career is at its end. His match against Verona on the weekend will be the final time he plays for the Juve after 17 seasons with the Italian giants. However, that game may not be the final time he plays.
Despite assumptions Buffon would announce his retirement from football, the player today said he still feels driven to compete and is considering his options—options that could see him moving on to another club in the summer.
While Buffon hasn’t hinted at what those playing options might be, a handful of outlets in Italy—including, according to The Mirror, Premium Sport—have Liverpool and Manchester City both having approached the goalkeeper.
“Until about two weeks ago, I was certain I would stop playing,” Buffon said earlier today. “Now offers have arrived that are exciting on and off the pitch. I’ll let these three days pass and then I will make a definitive decision.”
Buffon made his first appearance for Parma in 1995-96 before becoming their starter the following year. In 2001, he transferred to Juventus for 100 billion lira—or around €52M—a fee that still stands as the most paid for a goalkeeper.
The assumption for some time now had been that he would retire a Juventus player. Now, though, that looks as though it may not be the case. Though whether he really could end up at Liverpool is another matter entirely.
It’s also not clear if Buffon would be content moving to another top club and taking on a more limited role—though he did tell journalists he has no intention of going somewhere less competitive just to stay in the game.
“I am not someone who thinks it’s right to end my career in who knows what third or fourth division,” he added. “I am a competitive animal—I wouldn’t be able to live in that situation. I wouldn’t feel at ease.”