Gianluigi Buffon hopes his former club Juventus sign Angel Di Maria as he likened the Paris Saint-Germain attacker to Argentina’s great Diego Maradona.
Di Maria joined PSG from Manchester United in 2015 but will leave the French capital at the end of his contract at the end of June.
Juve reportedly offered Di Maria a one-year contract and the option to add one more season.
That allegedly led to delays in negotiations between the 34-year-old player and Massimiliano Allegri’s side.
Former Juve goalkeeper Buffon has urged the Bianconeri to extend Di Maria’s contract, with Italian legends suggesting he will make an impact in Serie A as too late, the great Maradona was with Napoli.
“Di Maria in Serie A is like Maradona,” Buffon told Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport.
“Football players need to be looked at where they play. Serie A, today, is very poor and Angel has a lot of talent.
“He has a straightforward decision in front of goal, playing his opponents. He’s good at assisting and running up and down the pitch. He can play different roles.”
Buffon talks about his experience, crossing paths with Di Maria at PSG in the 2018-19 campaign.
The Parma goalkeeper has also suggested that Di Maria is talented enough that age should not be a factor as Juve aims to protect the defender.
“I’m 44, but I’m still playing, age doesn’t matter. Motivation and love are very important as well as determination,” he added. “If Di Maria joins Juventus it means he is ready.
“He’s a role model, never giving up and fighting during games and coaching sessions. In today’s Serie A, he’ s like Maradona.
“At PSG, I played with Neymar, young Kylian Mbappe, Marco Verratti…
“When he won the Decima [10th Champions League title] in Madrid in 2014, he played with Karim Benzema, Cristiano Ronaldo, Luka Modric and Toni Kroos.
“He was always backing away from them but he could play as a full-back, an attacking midfielder and even a ‘Mezzala’ [a wide-ranging midfielder who plays in the middle of a diamond pitch or three players].
“Anyone’s going to sign him, and I hope it’s Juve, it’ll be fine. We’re talking about a champion.”