Buffon is staying at Juventus, insists Deschamps

July 21, 2006

Juventus manager Didier Deschamps has claimed World Cup-winning goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon is following Alessandro Del Piero's example by staying at Juventus in Serie B.

Juventus will start next season in Italy's second division with a 30-point deficit after they were found guilty of match fixing.

So far Lilian Thuram, Fabio Cannavaro, Emerson and Gianluca Zambrotta have left, while Patrick Vieira is reportedly on the verge of a move to Inter Milan.

However, Buffon, who had reportedly been a target of Arsenal and AC Milan has indicated he is willing to stay.

'We have managed to keep the goalkeeper. I am 100% certain that Buffon is staying,' said Deschamps.

'It is important that we have managed to keep a world-class goalkeeper and a world-class striker, so that we are well covered at both sides of the pitch.

'Currently, four players have left, but I am hopeful some others will decide to stay with us.'

One of those is France striker David Trezeguet - also linked to Arsenal - and Deschamps believes his relationship with his former France team-mate will have in key role in persuading him to stay.

He added: 'It is important that we keep [David] Trezeguet because his worth is undeniable. Also I have the added advantage of knowing him very well from when we played together.

'I spoke to him before the sentence, but he is on holiday now and we must wait for him to come back before we know what his decision will be. It's up to him.'