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Gianluigi Buffon.

Juventus identify the goalkeeper they want to replace Gianluigi Buffon when he retires

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Cristiano Ronaldo and Real Madrid may have won the Champions League last weekend, but spare a thought for poor old Gianluigi Buffon.

The Juventus shot-stopper was making his third appearance in a Champions League final but once again found himself on the losing side, as Real ran out 4-1 winners.

Speaking after the game, a dejected Buffon described the defeat as a "big disappointment".

"It's a big disappointment because we thought we did everything we needed to win," he said, per the Daily Mail. "We had a great first half in which we had Real in trouble.

"It leaves you with an open mouth, the episodes that never went our way."

Buffon, now 39, has one year remaining on his contract with Juventus, meaning the 2017/18 season could be his last chance to win the Champions League.

And because it could be his final year at the club, who he joined in 2001 from Parma, Juve must start looking for his eventual successor.

AC Milan's Gianluigi Donnarumma is widely regarded as the natural heir to Buffon's thrown, given he's Italian and just 18-years-old.

Juventus v Real Madrid - UEFA Champions League Final

However, according to Gazzetta dello Sport, Juventus have already identified the goalkeeper they want to replace Buffon for the long haul - and they're due to sign him this summer.

Yes, Juventus apparently believe Arsenal's Wojciech Szczesny is the man to succeed Buffon in between the sticks.

Szczesny has been on loan at Roma for the past two seasons and is expected to join the Old Lady this summer in a £12 million deal.

Many thought that move was just so Buffon had decent back-up, but it's now been revealed that Juve actually want Szczesny to be his long-term replacement.

AC Milan v AS Roma - Serie A

It's a somewhat strange decision from manager Maxi Allegri, given Szczesny is 27-years-old and still hasn't proven himself as a world-class goalkeeper.

Donnarumma, on the other hand, is nine years younger and arguably better than Szczesny, although he would cost at least three times more.

It's likely Juventus have consulted with Buffon on who he thinks would be a good fit for when he hangs up his gloves, but you can't help but feel they could do a lot better.

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Topics:
Italy Football
Juventus
Serie A
Gianluigi Buffon
Football
Gonzalo Higuain
Giorgio Chiellini

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