Juventus keeper, and Italian World Cup hero, Gianluigi Buffon is reportedly looking for a way out of Serie A and Manchester looks to be his destination. The only question is whether he’ll end up in blue or red. Juventus is reportedly asking for around £30 million and both clubs seemed poised to make serious offers. City has shown over the past few off-seasons their willingness to throw around cash to bring in big-name talent while United desperately need someone to replace the rapidly aging Edwin van der Sar.
But the question is should City really be shelling out the cash for Buffon? He is one of the greatest goalkeepers in the world, that can’t be argued but current City goalkeeper Shay Given has shown to be more than capable between the pipes. City have the highest payroll of any club in the Premier League but as we have all seen with Real Madrid wealth does not always equal results. This constant switching of players does not build the sense of community so vital for a side that wins year in and year out.
Some will say the constant rotation of players in and out of a squad is “just football” but if you look at clubs like Chelsea, Manchester United, Barcelona and Inter Milan, they grow their players and make them part of a psuedo family. A player needs to feel like they belong and won’t be replaced the second a bigger name comes available. All-star teams have been tried for decades in almost every sport and never live up their promise. That’s because a great team is greater than the sum of it’s parts. That extra little bit generated by the chemistry and trust between players is the difference between scoring or conceding that late winner.
But the simplest reason to save money on Buffon is that City need help in several positions, and goalkeeper isn’t one of them. Midfielder Martin Petrov will likely find another club next season, Carlos Tevez is the only consistent scoring threat and Mancini has yet to show he has command over his players. These variables add up to a side that show flashes of brilliance, such as their thrashing of Chelsea or the 6-1 defeat of Brunley, but can also lay an egg like they did Saturday against United. This disparity is not even Mancini’s fault. When a club puts out money for players like City is right now it creates the idea that the player is more important than the coach. Do you think anyone at Old Trafford feels that way?
Speaking of Old Trafford, that is exactly where Buffon should end up. Sir Alex Ferguson likes players that are not only talented, but hardworking and keep out of the tabeloids. Buffon brings leadership and stability once provided by Rio Ferdinand and Gary Neville. Despite being 32 the Italian Captain has at least four of five years ahead of him and can United really expect another keeper to come available in time to replace van der Sar?
Regardless of which Manchester club wins the bidding war I’m excited to see Buffon in the Premier League next season. Not only is he a fantastic shot stopper but one of the most charismatic and entertaining personalities in the European game.