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ESPN FC  By ESPN

Gianluigi Buffon: Milan's Donnarumma is the 'right choice' for Juventus

Gianluigi Buffon has backed Juventus to sign AC Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma as his eventual successor.

Buffon, 39, is out of contract with Juve at the end of next season and has been tipped to retire after Italy's 2018 World Cup campaign.

While the keeper has said in the past he will retire from international football after that tournament, he has yet to make a decision on when he will call it a day completely.

But with Juve reportedly interested in signing Donnarumma as well as Arsenal's Wojciech Szczesny, Buffon says the club are right to be preparing for life without him in goal.

"To me, they seem to be the right choices," Buffon told reporters ahead of Sunday's World Cup qualifier against Liechtenstein.

"Well, I've always been, I believe, a reasonable person who tries to understand the meaning of things. And it is right that Juve try to sign a goalkeeper like him, it is right that our national team has goalkeepers like these, in this case one like Gigio Donnarumma.

Gianluigi Donnarumma has been linked with a move to Juventus.

"Because in the end you make progress because of your merits, and as I always say, a coach has to choose his formation to win the game, and should only think about that.

"It's right that it works this way. This means that for me it's a great incentive, because I know that even if I'm 39 or 40 years old, if want to keep a certain prestige, a certain role, I have to work hard.

"The day I don't want to work hard anymore I'll just stay at home, because, inevitably, goalkeepers like Szczesny, like Donnarumma or like [Udinese' Alex] Meret are regulars. They're No. 1s, and they are because of their merits, and not because of somebody else's favour.

"I am not eternal and I never thought that I was. I think of the group, so Juventus and the Nazionale quite rightly have to plan beyond the individual.

"I said in the past that I might not want to be a coach, but perhaps at international level it would be less stressful on a daily basis. When I do retire, I'd like to rest a little bit, as it has been a long and intense career."

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