Former Juventus Coach Reveals How Close David de Gea Came to Replacing Buffon in 2006

Published on: 11 October 2016

Former Juventus goalkeeping coachMichelangelo Rampulla has revealed the Serie A giants had lined up a move for a young David de Gea to replace Gianluigi Buffon after the infamousCalciopoli scandal in 2006, Italian publication Gazzetta Dello Sport reports (

The Serie A giants were relegated to Serie B in the aftermath of the scandal, which resulted in a number of high-profile names departing the club. The likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Lillian Thuram, Gianluca Zambrotta and Fabio Cannavaro left the club immediately, while Buffon, who had been at the club since 2001, was also linked with a move away.

The uncertainty surrounding his future led Juve scouts to monitor potential replacements for the Italian and Rampulla has revealed a 15-year-old De Gea, then at Atletico Madrid, was on a list of potential targets.

"It was not known if Buffon would stay in Serie B," Rampulla told Italian media.

"I was given a list of possible replacements, and the very first was the Spaniard De Gea, then very young."

Gran partido del equipo, lástima que se escapara la victoria. @gianluigibuffon leyenda! Great game, a pity we couldn't win. Buffon legend!

Buffon proved to be loyal to the club and managed to help Juve return to Serie A, with the Turin club becoming the dominant force in Italian football once again.

De Gea left Atletico five years later for £18m to sign for Manchester United, where he has established himself as one the world's best goalkeepers, alongside Buffon.

The Spaniard, who faced Buffon in the recent World Cup Qualifier that finished 1-1,hailed the Italian as a "living legend"during the summer when their respective nations met in Euro 2016.