Gianluigi Buffon’s agent has admitted that his sensational Juventus return was “totally unexpected”.
The 41-year-old departed the Old Lady in the summer of 2018 after spending 17 years with the club, originally joining from Parma for a then-world-record fee of €52 million (£47m/$58m).
He spent last season with eventual Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain and made 25 appearances for the club across all competitions, keeping nine clean sheets.
He then made the decision to return to Juventus and sign a one-year contract, but his agent, Silvano Martina, has revealed that the Italian’s return to Turin was not one they had planned for.
“The return to Juve was totally unexpected,” he told Radio Bianconera (via football-italia.net).
“We were evaluating other offers when the call came from Juventus.
“When I talked to him about it, that was just the ideal solution, both in emotional terms and for his family.
“Returning to Juve, for someone who has always been such a passionate Bianconeri supporter, really was the best he could’ve hoped for.
“Having said that, I am very glad he went to PSG. If he had just retired last year, he wouldn’t have been able to return to Juventus. It was a happy experience in Paris.”
Rumours circulated that Buffon’s contract included a clause that would guarantee him eight appearances in Serie A next season, in order for him to surpass Paolo Maldini’s all-time appearance record of 647.
Martina refuted this claim however, saying: “There are no clauses and we never even discussed them, he only came to Juventus in order to be Gigi Buffon.
“There is a younger goalkeeper there in Wojciech Szczesny who has done very well. Gigi takes a step back and is at the disposal of the team.”
The 2006 World Cup winner’s return to Juventus is likely to be as an understudy to Szczesny, who impressed in Buffon’s absence last season as the Bianconeri stormed to their eighth consecutive Scudetto.
The 41-year-old goalkeeper is one of three free transfers that the Old Lady have secured this summer, with midfielders Aaron Ramsey and Adrien Rabiot also arriving in Turin ahead of the new Serie A season.