The Paris Saint-Germain has revealed how Manchester United tried to sign him in the past when Sir Alex Ferguson was at the club.
As the Parisian side prepare to host United at the Parc des Princes on Wednesday, the goalkeeping icon was interviewed by former Reds defender Rio Ferdinand for BT Sport.
Buffon has said that he could have signed for the Red Devils during his time at Parma when he was still a young prospect and not yet established.
He spent six years at Parma between 1995 and 2001 and Sir Alex Ferguson had individuated Buffon as the replacement for one of the club’s greatest ever goalkeepers, Peter Schmeichel who left the club in 1999.
Of course, it was not an easy task to replace someone like Schmeichel and after missing out on Buffon, United signed another of the club’s most illustrious goalkeepers in recent years, Edwin van der Sar.
When asked about his offers from English clubs while at Parma, Buffon explained: “Yes, when I was a boy playing for Parma, Ferguson tracked me closely for two or three years and he’s always sent scouts to watch me. At the time Parma was my world and I didn’t feel like leaving.”
Mr Buffon reveals all… @manchesterunited transfer target in 2001 after being watched by the great man Sir Alex 👀⚽ Honour to sit alongside @gianluigibuffon & talk to him about all things football, success, leadership and mental health! #RioMeets #PSG #Buffon #MUFC pic.twitter.com/jk7aIxv4ji
— Rio Ferdinand (@rioferdy5) March 4, 2019
At the time, Buffon had decided to stay in Italy and joined Juventus in 2001, with whom he became an absolute fan favourite and club legend. The Italian goalkeeper played over 500 games for the Bianconeri and seventeen years later he joined PSG for what is most probably his last destination before retirement.
Buffon also revealed that he also had an offer from United’s city rivals Manchester City but turned down as well.
“I later had a big offer from Manchester City when they started the build the team. They wanted me to be the first signing, but I stayed at Juve.”
Buffon’s current manager, Thomas Tuchel, was asked about what it is like to coach a player like Kylian Mbappe who at just 20 years of age is already a World Cup winner.
Let our game speak!
— Paris Saint-Germain (@PSG_English) March 4, 2019
“This is not always easy. The big personalities do not always go the easy way. He is challenging me, as a coach, for sure, and at the same time, he is a super nice guy.
”For me, it is necessary that he has this kind of personality to challenge me and everybody around him because he has the hunger to be a special player in history. For me, he is a striker. He is not a Messi. For me, he is a striker. He can be the best striker in the world. He is on his way.”