Gianluigi Buffon has admitted to turning Arsenal down while he was at Parma.
- Buffon was approached by Arsenal and Manchester United before he moved to Juventus
- Says the Premier League is a special, but wanted to be loyal to Juventus
Speaking on the eve of the Champions League final, the legendary keeper admitted that he was approached by three Premier League teams in his career.
Arsenal, Manchester United and Manchester City all wanted the keeper at various points, but Buffon opted to remain in Italy.
“From what I know, there have been three serious times when English clubs made an approach for me,” he explained.
“Two of them were when I was a young player at Parma, and I know Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger asked about me – and then, when Manchester City was taken over, I know they approached Juventus.”
Arsene Wenger wanted Buffon to replace David Seaman in 2001, while Sir Alex Ferguson was looking for a replace for Peter Schmeichel. It’s interesting to think about how things could have been had either club managed to sign him.
Manchester City wanted the keeper after their takeover, but there was little chance of Buffon leaving Juventus by that point.
Buffon, though, doesn’t regret staying in Italy and has had a hugely successful career.
“There are many reasons why none of the deals happened. Even though the Premier League is a special league, I have always wanted to stay loyal to Juventus.”
“I have always been very successful here. I would not have changed anything.”