Even at the age of 38, Buffon remains one of the world’s greatest goalkeepers, his famous reflexes undimmed by his advancing years despite reports to the contrary after a high profile error gifted Spain a goal in last week’s World Cup qualifying draw in Turin.
And, despite lifting the Serie A title as captain for the fifth campaign in a row while smashing a 22-year-old record by remaining unbeaten for over 926 minutes of action in the Italian top flight last season, the legendary ‘keeper has stated that he wants to carry on until the 2018 World Cup at least.
When the superhuman shot-stopper finally gives in to his relentless battle against Father Time, however, Juventus will have no shortage of candidates aiming to fill the void.
According to Calciomercato, Juve have their sights set on emulating the deal that first brought the 23-year-old Buffon to Turin in 2001 for £23 million, according to the BBC, then a world-record fee for a goalkeeper.
Signing young would allow the ‘Old Lady’ to lay the foundations for another goalkeeping dynasty, though 17-year-old Milan prodigy Gianluigi Donnarumma (below) appears an overly-ambitious target due to his billing as the future of Juventus’s great rivals.
Consequently, that could push Gollini up the pecking order.
The 21-year-old first two seasons in professional football could be best described as turbulent, thrown in at the deep end with Villa after facing a weekly onslaught in between the sticks of relegated Hellas Verona in Serie A last season.
However, these character building experiences could prove crucial if Gollini is to one day pull on the gloves for the Bianconeri. After all, if there’s one characteristic that epitomises Buffon above all else, its character.