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Goalkeeper Buffon happy to stay another season at PSG

February 2, 2019
FILE - In this Monday, July 9, 2018 file photo, PSG's new signing goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon displays a scarf reading "Here is Paris" during his official presentation at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris, France. Speaking at a news conference on Saturday Feb. 2, 2019, Gianluigi Buffon said he wants to stay at Paris Saint-Germain next season, so long as his goalkeeping rival Alphonse Areola doesn’t mind. (AP Photo/Jean-Francois Badias, File)

PARIS (AP) — Gianluigi Buffon wants to stay at Paris Saint-Germain next season, so long as his goalkeeping rival Alphonse Areola doesn’t mind.

The 41-year-old Italian joined PSG this season with an option for an extra year. At a news conference on Saturday ahead of a French league game at Lyon on Sunday, Buffon said, “If Alphonse and the club want it, I’d stay another season here.”

Buffon and Areola have been in competition for the No. 1 jersey, but have shown a lot of mutual respect. Areola, a homegrown player who has broken into the France squad, has spoken about learning from Buffon’s vast experience.

A World Cup winner with Italy in 2006, Buffon made 656 appearances for Juventus and 176 for Italy. He was expected to retire after winning a seventh straight Serie A title, but instead joined PSG and has been consistent.

Coach Thomas Tuchel has not designated a No. 1, and has rotated his goalies. They have played 10 league games each.

However, Tuchel is likely to pick Buffon for the game at Manchester United in the first leg of the Champions League last 16 on Feb. 12.

PSG has not been past the quarterfinals of the competition since QSI took over in June 2011.

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