Newcastle United have come out as likely suitors for Alphonse Areola as Paris Saint-Germain hunts down Italian legend, Gianluigi Buffon. The former Juventus goalkeeper informed the public about his plans to postpone his retirement since opportunities have come up that might be far too attractive to pass up. The French giants want to sign the decorated 40-year-old which could eventually spell trouble for Areola.
Unai Emery favoured the latter over Kevin Trapp for the majority of the 2017/18 season, fielding him in 43 games. Areola earned his place in the first team and looks to be settled as the primary option.
The scenario should not change even if Buffon makes his way to the Parc des Princes. The veteran keeper does not have the youthful resilience to hold onto the backline on a regular basis. He was supposed to retire a season early but decided to have another go after coming so close to the UEFA Champions League trophy in 2017.
It was supposed to be a wrap-up! An illustrious career in the absolute topmost level of world football which has served him with a FIFA World Cup medal, 11 Serie A titles and 12 Serie A Goalkeeper Of The Year awards.
The former Parma man had done it all and won everything there is to win out there and it might be the one last European trophy that eludes him from taking a final decision on his career even after spending 17 years with one of the continent’s elite teams.
Maybe a sliver of hope remains in his heart which has pushed him to ponder over further opportunities. But to fulfil his wishes, Areola’s developing career might have to take a backstep.
The Frenchman is 25 and cannot afford to be a second-string option again. He has put in the time during his loan spells with Villareal, Bastia and Lens to finally mark his spot in his dream club. He has maintained 35 clean sheets in his 72 senior team appearances for the Parisians.
The St James’ Park will be buzzing to see him enter through its doors but can the Magpies afford him? They seemed quite happy with their January loan-arrival, Martin Dubravka. The Sparta Prague man immediately upstaged Karl Darlow and Rob Elliot to the number one spot to punch in United’s defensive leaks.
On the top of that, Rafael Benitez is short of cash at the moment and Areola will in no way be a cheap acquisition. Whether the player will even choose to ply his trade at a club without Champions League football remains to be seen but from a distance, this transfer looks to have very low odds.