Gianluigi Buffon thanked Juventus for giving him the "splendid gift" of being able to play in the same team as Cristiano Ronaldo following the goalkeeper's return to the club.

Buffon left Juve last year and spent a season at Paris Saint-Germain, before turning down the opportunity to remain in Ligue 1.

It soon became clear Buffon's next destination was to be Turin once again, having spent the best 17 years of his career with the Old Lady.

The 41-year-old signed a contract that will expire in 2020 and he is particularly excited about the chance to call Ronaldo his team-mate.

"It's beautiful," he told reporters when asked about playing with the former Real Madrid star.

"At the end of my career I was able to play with Neymar and [Kylian] Mbappe thanks to Paris Saint-Germain, now it will happen with Cristiano Ronaldo thanks to Juventus.

"I think that for players with my experience and with my history, to be able to end the career in such a way is a splendid gift."

In his last spell at Juve, Buffon was captain following the departure of Alessandro Del Piero in 2012, while he also donned the number one jersey.

He was offered both of those by respective incumbents Giorgio Chiellini and Wojciech Szczesny, but Buffon gratefully declined, adamant he is not back in Turin to step on anyone's toes.

"I would like to thank Szczesny and Chiellini, who offered me the number one jersey and the captain's armband," he added.

"I am here to contribute as I have always done, not to take anything away from someone. The first-choice goalkeeper of Juve must have the number one and Giorgio, who is my brother, must be captain.

"I took number 77, which is in my history and in the history of Parma. That was the shirt that took me to Juventus and it was something that inspired me."

Gianluigi Buffon is back at Juventus following a year away with Paris Saint-Germain, returning to the club where he established himself as a modern great.

He previously spent 17 years with the Old Lady before his brief spell at PSG, winning a host of titles and enjoying sustained excellence.

Such has been the 41-year-old's longevity, the former Parma prodigy has rubbed shoulders with the very best in world football throughout his time, forming part of World Cup, Ligue 1 and Serie A-winning sides.

With Buffon securing another big move, we have compiled a star-studded group of former team-mates for a dream XI.

GOALKEEPER: GIANLUIGI BUFFON

Who else has the pedigree to don the gloves in such a side?

A five-time member of the UEFA Team of the Year, he boasts more Serie A clean sheets than any other player and, as captain of his country from 2010 until November 2017, would have no trouble bringing this team together.

 

RIGHT-BACK: LILIAN THURAM

Having been joined by Buffon at Parma after his switch from Monaco in 1996, Thuram followed his team-mate in making the move to Turin ahead of the 2001-02 campaign.

The 142-time France international, part of the side that tasted glory at the 1998 World Cup on home soil and won Euro 2000, spent five seasons at Juve before rounding out his career with a spell at Barcelona.

 

CENTRE-BACK: FABIO CANNAVARO

Buffon's inheritance of the Italy armband from Cannavaro in 2010 completed the striking symmetry of their careers.

They both made their Parma debuts in 1995, did the same for Italy in 1997 and were reunited at club level when Cannavaro, one of few defenders to win the Ballon d'Or, joined Juve in 2004. They also lifted the Jules Rimet trophy together in 2006.

 

CENTRE-BACK: ALESSANDRO NESTA

A long-time rival at club level, Nesta was part of the famous Milan defence that beat Juve in the 2002-03 Champions League final – he scored his penalty against Buffon in a 3-2 shoot-out victory – and triumphed again four seasons later.

He was named in the Team of the Tournament at Euro 2000, which Buffon missed through injury, but the 2006 World Cup success will undoubtedly be the highlight of his career.

 

LEFT-BACK: PAOLO MALDINI

With admirable longevity, loyalty and leadership, classy defender Maldini set the path that Buffon has so impressively followed.

The long-time Rossoneri skipper, a seven-time Scudetto winner who also lifted the European Cup on five occasions, is the only player to have managed more Serie A appearances than the veteran Juve goalkeeper – though Buffon will likely surpass Maldini's 647 record next term as he is just seven matches behind.

CENTRAL MIDFIELD: ANDREA PIRLO

Has there been a more iconic duo of the modern era?

Pirlo was already at the top by the time he swapped Milan for Juve, but he saved plenty of his play-making brilliance for Buffon and friends as the Bianconeri re-asserted themselves as Italy's top club with a run of successive Scudetti. 

 

CENTRAL MIDFIELD: PAVEL NEDVED

Nedved's blend of athleticism, tenacity and well-rounded technical ability made him close to the complete midfielder.

He helped Czech Republic to the final of Euro 1996 and his value to Juve was summed up by a Ballon d'Or victory in 2003.

 

ATTACKING MIDFIELD: FRANCESCO TOTTI

Buffon said it would have been "ruining a masterpiece" to have kept out some of the goals the talismanic Totti scored against him for Roma.

They were certainly on the same page in the international arena, helping their country conquer the world in 2006.

 

ATTACKING MIDFIELD: ROBERTO BAGGIO

Less than two years after a 17-year-old Buffon held Baggio and Milan scoreless, the pair were sharing the same shirt for Italy.

Two of the Azzurri's greatest were in the same squad at the 1998 World Cup, remaining team-mates until Baggio retired in 2004.

ATTACKING MIDFIELD: ALESSANDRO DEL PIERO

He stands as an equal to Buffon in the pantheon of Juve luminaries.

Buffon and the artistic Del Piero combined to help the Bianconeri finish top of Serie A on five occasions, while they lined up for Italy together for over a decade and experienced the top prize of winning the World Cup together.

 

STRIKER: KYLIAN MBAPPE

Although David Trezeguet enjoyed 10 prolific seasons at the opposite end of the Juve team to Buffon, Mbappe gets the nod in attack for the remarkable nature of his 2018-19 campaign.

The France international scored an astonishing 33 Ligue 1 goals from 29 appearances and took the lead role after Neymar's injury, becoming the face of the team and a leader despite his tender age of 20. While Trezeguet was a fine player, Mbappe is on the trajectory to becoming an all-time great.

Gianluigi Buffon is extending his remarkable a career for at least another season after completing a stunning return to Juventus on a one-year contract.

Just as he did upon joining Paris Saint-Germain 12 months ago, the Italy legend has shelved thoughts of retirement and will once again intend on challenging for the number one shirt at a dominant domestic force.

It will be the Parma product's 25th season as a professional but, even with his World Cup and nine Serie A titles, the 41-year-old is not alone in at least one respect.

Here are seven  other football legends who, like Buffon, carried on playing into their fifth decade.


RYAN GIGGS

Wales manager Ryan Giggs was an ultimate one-club man, staying at Manchester United for the entirety of his glittering career. Giggs managed to slowly transform himself from a rapid, tricky winger into a cultured central midfielder in the latter years of his playing days, helping to extend his time on the pitch beyond 40. Giggs won an extraordinary haul of medals at Old Trafford, including 13 Premier League titles, four FA Cups and a pair of Champions League crowns. Giggs played in 632 Premier League games, scoring 109 goals, with only Gareth Barry topping his appearance tally. Giggs worked as Louis van Gaal's assistant at United, having taken charge on an interim basis following the sacking of David Moyes, and he will go down in history as both a club and football legend.

PAOLO MALDINI

Paolo Maldini was still going strong for AC Milan beyond his 40th birthday and, like Giggs, he only ever played for one club. Seven league titles and an incredible five European Cup/Champions League wins headline a litany of honours that Maldini helped marshal at San Siro, playing across their near impenetrable back four for almost 25 years. Maldini, son of another Milan legend, Cesare, is one of a select group of players who made over 1,000 appearances in all competitions during their career. To complete the journey, the former Italy man returned to the Rossoneri as technical director in June.

KAZUYOSHI MIURA

Kazuyoshi Miura is the only other man on this list, alongside Buffon, who is still playing. That the Japanese striker made his debut almost 10 years beforehand begins to tell part of his incredible tale. Known as King Kazu, Miura plays for Yokohama FC in Japan's second tier and signed a fresh deal in January to extend his career. The oldest player and goalscorer in the history of global professional football, Miura is regarded as one of the finest Asian players never to have featured at a World Cup, although he made 89 appearances for his country.

 

STANLEY MATTHEWS

Before Miura snatched them off him, Stanley Matthews held the record for both the oldest professional footballer and the oldest goalscorer in the game. Matthews - the Wizard of Dribble - made nearly 700 league appearances for Stoke City and Blackpool in a career that spanned three decades. The 1953 FA Cup final is regarded as the Matthews Final, even though Blackpool's Stan Mortensen scored a hat-trick. Matthews won the first-ever European Footballer of the Year award, while he was capped for England 84 times.

DINO ZOFF

Goalkeepers often play deep into their thirties, but not many captain their country to World Cup glory at the age of 40. But that is exactly what Dino Zoff did at the World Cup in 1982. He made 40 appearances in World Cup finals and qualifiers in total, while as a coach he led Italy to the final of Euro 2000. It must be something about Juventus, as Buffon's club is also where Zoff spent the best years of his career, winning six Serie A titles.

RIVALDO

Best known for his spell at Barcelona in club football, Brazil icon Rivaldo was still playing beyond his 40th birthday, albeit only briefly. Rivaldo came out of retirement to sign for Mogi Mirim, the club where his son Rivaldinho was also on the books. Rivaldo picked up two LaLiga titles at Barcelona before continuing his European adventure with AC Milan, winning the 2002–03 Champions League with the Rossoneri. But it is as a Brazil international that Rivaldo is best remembered, having been a key part of the side that won the World Cup in 2002.

 

ROGER MILLA

Roger Milla became the World Cup's oldest scorer when he hit the net for Cameroon in 1994 at the age of 42, having announced himself at the same tournament four years previously with his famous corner-flag dance. Milla's four goals at the 1990 World Cup helped Cameroon to reach the quarter-finals of the tournament and he is fondly regarded as one of Africa's greatest ever players. Remarkably, Milla regained the African Footballer of the Year title 14 years after he first won the award.

Gianluigi Buffon has sensationally returned Juventus just a year after leaving the club for Paris Saint-Germain.

Buffon had suggested he could take a year off after rejecting a deal for a second season in the French capital.

A new one-year contract with the Serie A champions will instead take Buffon beyond his 42nd birthday.

When he does eventually retire, Buffon will not just be remembered for his electric reflexes and passionate Italian national anthem-singing.

The Juventus stopper also has a way with words that suggests he will not be short of job offers when he does decide to hang up his gloves.

Here, we pick out some of our favourite Buffon quotes from throughout his long and distinguished career.

 

BUFFON ON… DIETS

"My worst vice is gluttony. I try to keep myself under control because I'm an athlete, but once a week I like to pig out and act like a normal person."

BUFFON ON… CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

"Losing on penalties in 2003 was very painful, but since I was only 25, I was fairly calm because I was convinced I'd win many more. That's the exuberance of youth. I was so close to winning it on that occasion; they missed three penalties in that final - I saved two of them. Strange things happen. It wasn't meant to be and we weren't good enough. In sport and life, those who deserve it more probably end up getting their rewards."

BUFFON ON… MANAGEMENT

"The pitch is the most beautiful part of the game; it gives you emotions which bring meaning to life. So, I wouldn't like a role as [a club] coach, with the day-to-day nature of it. I wouldn't rule out a role as national coach; you'd still get the emotion of the pitch but with the time and the freedom to devote to other things."

BUFFON ON… CARS

"Maybe I'm the only footballer who isn't interested in cars. My Lancia Y gets me around."

BUFFON ON… MESSI

"Messi is an alien that dedicates himself to playing with humans. The only hope is that this Saturday [Buffon was speaking before the 2015 Champions League final] he will be from earth, like the rest of us."

BUFFON ON… AGEING

"Even at 80, if suddenly no goalkeeper would be there, they should call me – I would train briefly and then jump in."

 

BUFFON ON… MBAPPE

"He was born in 1998, right? I had already taken part in the World Cup in France before he was born. This is the joy of life, the great thing about lasting for a long time. You get to meet kids who weren't even born when you already had a good chunk of your career behind you.

"The other day, I worked out that I managed to connect practically three generations. I used to play with those born in the 1950s and 60s, then I'll end up playing against those born after the year 2000. It's an enormous stretch of time.

"It's stimulating knowing that you're facing the future Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar. Maybe in 10 years, when I have hung up my gloves, they will be the seasoned champions and I'll have the memory of playing against them at the start of their careers."

BUFFON ON… GOALS

"I scored lots of goals, and when a kid gets lots of goals it's the nicest thing in the world. Then you grow up, become stupid and become a goalkeeper, right? Then you just let goals in."

BUFFON ON… RONALDO

"The striker who caused me all kinds [of trouble] was Ronaldo, the Brazilian one. He was the perfect player, as he had power, speed, intuition, technical skills and quickness. He was a jaw-dropping player. It seemed like he was created in a lab."

BUFFON ON… RETIREMENT

"How do I imagine my last ever game? Maybe I'll go out like [Zinedine] Zidane, headbutting someone on the pitch!"

BUFFON ON… RESEARCH

"I don't watch penalties in my hotel room. I watch naughty videos."

BUFFON ON… MENTAL HEALTH

"To the fans it does not matter a damn how you are. You are seen as the footballer, the idol, so no one thinks to stop and ask you: 'Hey, how are you?'

"The problem was if I had said: 'I am going away for two months to get better' I would have been finished. Because every time after that, if I had failed with a save or whatever, I would have been reminded of that period. I just couldn't allow myself to go away for two or three months to get better.

"But I did see a psychologist and that helped me enormously. But it was something I had to re-evaluate. I thought psychologists were people who rob, figuratively of course, money from the insecure. But they are not. They are people who are there to help you and if you find a good psychologist, they will allow you to talk about everything and open up, without the slightest of fears, and that is no easy thing."

BUFFON ON… SQUAD NUMBERS

"I chose 88 because it reminds me of four balls and in Italy we all know what it means to have balls: strength and determination. And this season I will have to have balls to get back my place in the Italy team."

BUFFON ON… VAR

"You told us that VAR would be used in clear-cut incidents where there were mistakes, but now you are even checking the replays for a trodden toe or a finger in an ear. It's no longer football… it's turning into water polo. It takes too long. I didn't celebrate when we were awarded a penalty because six minutes had passed."

BUFFON ON… HIS GOAL

"More than 25 years ago I made my vow: I swore to protect you. Look after you. A shield against all your enemies. I've always thought about your welfare, putting it first even ahead of my own.

"I was 12 when I turned my back on my goal. And I will keep doing it as long as my legs, my head and my heart will allow."

 

BUFFON ON... MICHAEL OLIVER

"The team gave its all, but a human being cannot destroy dreams like that at the end of an extraordinary comeback on a dubious situation.

"Clearly you cannot have a heart in your chest, but a bag of rubbish. On top of that, if you don't have the character to walk on a pitch like this in a stadium like this, you can sit in the stands with your wife, your kids, having your drink and eating crisps.

"You cannot ruin the dreams of a team. I could've told the referee anything at that moment, but he had to understand the degree of the disaster he was creating."

Buffon spoke after Oliver gave Real Madrid a late penalty that saw them knock Juve out of the Champions League. He was later punished by UEFA.

Gianluigi Buffon has completed a return to Juventus, a year after leaving the club for Paris Saint-Germain.

Buffon departed Juve for PSG, ending a 17-year stay, but was unable to dislodge Alphonse Areola as the club's regular first-choice goalkeeper.

And after turning down a second season in the French capital, the former Italy goalkeeper is heading back to Juve.

Buffon has agreed a one-year deal with the Serie A champions, which will take him past his 42nd birthday.

A return to the Bianconeri had been mooted for several weeks, with second-choice goalkeeper Mattia Perin reportedly set for a move, and club great Buffon has joined up with Juve again to compete with Wojciech Szczesny for the starting spot.

A Juve statement read: "After a year away from Turin, Gianluigi Buffon has returned to Juventus, penning a one-year contract which will tie him to the club until 30 June 2020.

"It was May 19, 2018. That was the day when there were tears in everyone's eyes - when Gigi said goodbye to Juventus, it's fans and vice-versa. It was the bidding of a farewell to someone who was more than just a captain, but a legend and a symbol of the club.

"Probably each of us hoped, and in the end, knew that the yarn that united us for so many years was not destined to break. And that was the case.

"After a year with Paris Saint-Germain, Gigi has officially returned to Juventus."

Buffon added: "I wanted to greet you once again, I am happy to have returned home and to have the opportunity to again embrace you and to be embraced by you.

"This is one of the most beautiful and happiest days of my life. Today I received the confirmation that life is incredible and it's always worth dreaming."

During his single year in Paris, Buffon won a Ligue 1 title but failed in his quest to claim Champions League glory as PSG were knocked out by Manchester United.

He made 17 league appearances as he and Areola shared responsibilities between the posts, yet the 41-year-old was unable to make himself the undisputed first choice.

Buffon returns to Juve 18 years after his first move to the club from Parma set a new record – at the time – for the most expensive goalkeeper ever, costing €51million.

Gianluigi Buffon arrived at Juventus to undergo a medical ahead of a stunning return to the club he left 12 months ago.

Serie A champions Juve shared footage on social media of goalkeeper Buffon greeting fans and signing autographs outside their health facility.

The 41-year-old former Italy international is tipped to sign a one-year deal in Turin, where he enjoyed astonishing success from 2001 to 2018.

Buffon, who won nine Scudetti with Juve, moved to Paris Saint-Germain at the end of the 2017-18 campaign but parted ways with the French outfit after just one season, having struggled to keep Alphonse Areola out of the line-up.

Signed from Parma almost two decades ago, World Cup winner Buffon made an emotional final appearance for Juve during the last game of the Serie A season in May 2018.

The legendary keeper somewhat overshadowed the club's Scudetto celebrations, embracing team-mates on his way off the pitch and completing a lap of honour as play continued during the match against Verona.

The race for Manchester United star Paul Pogba is heating up.

LaLiga giants Real Madrid and Serie A champions Juventus are vying for Pogba's signature.

But Juventus are looking to steal a march on Real Madrid by offering one of their stars in exchange.

 

TOP STORY – DYBALA FOR POGBA?

After Real Madrid reportedly offered Gareth Bale to Manchester United in a swap deal for Paul Pogba, Juventus have countered.

According to Marca, Juve have put forward Paulo Dybala in an attempt to prise Pogba back to Turin following his €105million departure in 2016.

Dybala has struggled since Cristiano Ronaldo's arrival and Juventus are determined to add Pogba to Maurizio Sarri's midfield.

 

ROUND-UP

- The Guardian says Frank Lampard will be announced as Chelsea boss on Thursday. Blues great Lampard was seen at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday.

- Arsenal are set to make an improved bid for Celtic left-back Kieran Tierney after their £15million offer was rejected, according to the Mirror.

- AS reports Real Madrid and Tottenham have opened discussions regarding Dani Ceballos, who is surplus to requirements under Zinedine Zidane at the Santiago Bernabeu. However, Spurs star Christian Eriksen was not discussed.

- Southampton have not made an offer for AC Milan forward Andre Silva, according to the Daily Echo.

- Juventus are preparing to make a move for unwanted Inter star Mauro Icardi, claim La Gazzetta dello Sport, Corriere Torino, Sport Mediaset and Rai Sport. With Antonio Conte determined to make space for Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku in Milan, Juve are reportedly willing to offer Icardi a salary of €8m per year.

- Sport Italia reports AC Milan have approached Schalke about centre-back Matija Nastasic after being put off by the price of Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren.

Juventus striker Mario Mandzukic could be set for a return to the Bundesliga, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport. Borussia Dortmund are reportedly pushing to sign the 33-year-old former Bayern Munich star, who only signed a new deal in Turin in April.

- According to the Sun, Leicester City have been quoted £40m for Brighton and Hove Albion defender Lewis Dunk as Harry Maguire continues to be linked with Manchester United and Manchester City.

Romelu Lukaku's agent Federico Pastorello said Inter are serious about signing the Manchester United striker but warned the Serie A club must make a move.

Lukaku continues to be linked with Antonio Conte's Inter, having acknowledged a desire to play in Italy and hinted his future could be away from Old Trafford.

The 26-year-old Belgium international joined United from Everton for £75million in 2017 and the Premier League giants want to recoup that fee as Inter circle.

After meeting Inter officials on Wednesday, Pastorello told reporters: "Nothing new. We met each other to understand better the situation. We will see what [Inter] is going to decide. 

"It is not on us. If the player wants to move [to Inter] they need to hurry. He [Lukaku] is a true target. It doesn't mean it will be official.

He added: "I think that the deal is not simple to reach, anyway."

Lukaku – contracted to the Red Devils until 2022 with the option of a further year – scored 12 Premier League goals as United finished sixth in 2018-19, missing out on Champions League qualification.

He scored 15 goals across all competitions for United, who lost to Barcelona in the Champions League quarter-finals.

Mario Pasalic has signed a new contract at Chelsea but his wait for a competitive appearance will continue after the club agreed to loan him to Atalanta for a second season.

The 24-year-old midfielder has agreed terms to remain at Chelsea until 2022 but will spend his sixth season on loan away from Stamford Bridge, where he first arrived in July 2014.

Since then, the Croatia international has been loaned out to Elche, Monaco, AC Milan, Spartak Moscow and Atalanta, while his appearances for Chelsea have all come in friendly matches.

Pasalic scored five goals in 33 Serie A appearances for Atalanta last season as the Bergamo club achieved a best finish of third in the table and clinched qualification for the Champions League for the first time.

Real Madrid refuse to give up on a move for Paul Pogba - and Gareth Bale could be the key to getting a deal done.

Pogba, 26, has been linked with a Manchester United exit, having said last month it could be time for a "new challenge" three years after returning to Old Trafford.

Madrid's rebuild is well and truly under way with Zinedine Zidane and, linked with a midfielder, the LaLiga giants are continuing to chase Pogba.

 

TOP STORY – MADRID RETAIN POGBA HOPE

According to AS, Real Madrid have not given up on signing Pogba.

The report says Manchester United have so far refused to negotiate a deal for the France midfielder, but Madrid are still pursuing the World Cup winner.

Bale could be part of a potential deal, however, with Madrid willing to offer United the attacker, according to Marca.

However, Bale has told Madrid he wants to see out the rest of his contract, which runs until 2022, at the Santiago Bernabeu, per AS.

ROUND-UP

- Antoine Griezmann's expected move from Atletico Madrid to Barcelona is happening. L'Equipe report Griezmann will make a €120million switch, with Marca saying Barca are preparing to present the France forward next week.

- With Griezmann's arrival, and potentially that of Neymar too, there are expected to be departures from Camp Nou. Sport report Philippe Coutinho has agreed terms with Paris Saint-Germain in the first piece of the puzzle that will lead to Neymar's return to Barcelona. Sport also say Barca are prepared to listen to offers of at least €50m for defender Samuel Umtiti.

- Harry Maguire appears set for Manchester, but which half remains to be seen. The Sun report Manchester United had a £70m bid for the defender rejected by Leicester City, while Manchester City are also willing to bid that much. Maguire has reportedly told Leicester he wants to leave and, unsurprisingly, Arsenal are looking to land the centre-back on the cheap, prepared to offer £50m, according to The Sun.

- Alexandre Lacazette could be on his way out of Emirates Stadium. The Arsenal forward is a target for Barcelona, according to Yahoo Sport FR, while the Mirror link Lacazette with Atletico Madrid.

- Having fallen down the pecking order at Anfield, Dejan Lovren could be set for a close-season exit. La Gazzetta dello Sport say Lovren's agent has held talks with AC Milan, with Liverpool apparently wanting €27.9m (£25m) for the centre-back.

- Marko Arnautovic is again linked with a move to China. The West Ham forward has lodged a transfer request after a £19.7m bid from Shanghai SIPG, according to the Mirror, just months after opting against a move to the Chinese Super League.

- After Rafael Benitez left for Dalian Yifang in the Chinese Super League, Newcastle United have made Belgium boss Roberto Martinez their top target, per The Sun. Martinez has managed in the Premier League with Everton and Wigan Athletic, but Pep Guardiola's assistant at Manchester City, Mikel Arteta, also continues to be linked to the vacancy.

Valentino Lazaro is hoping to repay the faith shown in him by Antonio Conte after revealing his new coach played a key part in his decision to join Inter.

The 23-year-old completed his move to the Serie A side from Hertha Berlin on Monday for a reported fee of €22million.

He had also been linked with Paris Saint-Germain and Arsenal, but the Austria international wanted to work under a coach like the former Chelsea and Juventus boss.

"I talked to Conte recently. He told me exactly what he expected of me and wants from me," Lazaro told Inter TV.

"He was one of the reasons why I chose to come to Inter. I think I can learn so much from him.

"I'll do everything to repay his faith. I'm delighted to be a part of a great club like Inter."

Lazaro spent five seasons with Salzburg before joining Hertha two years ago.

And after making a big impact in the Bundesliga, the winger now has the chance to do likewise in the Italian top flight.

"I know it's a difficult championship, but I'm happy to start this adventure," he said. "I've followed Serie A since childhood, so I'm very excited.

"I'm also happy to test myself, learn new things and grow as a footballer. I can't wait to get started.

"I will give my best to do well and achieve great goals."

Inter have announced the signing of Stefano Sensi from Sassuolo on loan with the option of a permanent deal.

The 23-year-old midfielder made the breakthrough at international level with Italy last November after impressing in Serie A.

Sassuolo's sporting director Giovanni Carnevali recently revealed Inter were the frontrunners to sign Sensi, who had also attracted rumoured interest from fierce rivals AC Milan.

And Antonio Conte's side have now confirmed an agreement with Sassuolo.

Inter have paid a reported €5million fee to take Sensi on loan for the 2019-20 campaign and also have the right to purchase him in a year's time for around five times that amount.

Sensi represented Cesena in Serie B and San Marino Calcio on loan in Serie C prior to making the switch to Sassuolo in 2016.

The Nerazzurri have also added Valentino Lazaro and Diego Godin to their squad over recent days as they aim to improve upon last season's fourth-place finish.

Adrien Rabiot is eager to become the latest Frenchman to leave his mark at Juventus after joining the Serie A champions on a free transfer.

Juve announced Rabiot's arrival on Monday following the expiration of his Paris Saint-Germain contract.

The 24-year-old is the latest in a long line of French players to have represented the Italian giants, following in the footsteps of Michel Platini, Didier Deschamps, Zinedine Zidane, David Trezeguet, Lilian Thuram and Paul Pogba.

And Rabiot is out to create his own history in the famous Bianconeri strip, telling a news conference on Tuesday: "Juventus has a great history of many great French players and I hope to leave my mark too. 

"Juventus is a great and very prestigious club with a great history. From what I have seen, they are a step [closer] from being at the top in respect to PSG."

Rabiot was linked with a number of other clubs after it had become clear he would leave PSG, with the likes of Manchester United, Liverpool, Tottenham and Barcelona also being touted as possible destinations.

But the former Toulouse loanee, who will wear the number 25 shirt from next season, is pleased with his decision to join Juventus and is ready to potentially battle compatriot Blaise Matuidi for a starting spot in midfield.

"Everything was finalised a little while ago, we found an agreement in a bit of a rush," he said. 

"Juventus contacted me in the past and the right moment arrived to come here. After seven years in Paris, I am ready to play in Serie A and I will do so with the same determination that I have always had. 

"I haven't had the opportunity to talk to [head coach Maurizio] Sarri yet, but everyone from Juve has left a great impression on me."

He added: "My preferred position on the field is in the left midfield spot, but I can also play in a two-man midfield. I am at the disposal of the coach. 

"There is a lot of competition here, even with Blaise Matuidi, but it doesn't change anything regarding my relationship with him. It's normal."

Kevin-Prince Boateng has shot down suggestions he could join Barcelona permanently by confirming his exit on social media.

The 32-year-old made four appearances for the Spanish champions during his spell on loan from Sassuolo during the second half of last season.

Despite Boateng's limited game time, Sassuolo's chief executive officer Giovanni Carnevali suggested the former Ghana forward may stay at Camp Nou on a full-time basis.

Barcelona have the option to buy Boateng outright, but that looks unlikely to happen as he has said his goodbyes to the club on his Instagram page.

"Today ends one of the most exciting experiences of my career," he said. "I thank every person who made this possible.

"I thank my teammates who made me feel at home from day one, champions and great people.

"I thank all the management, available and always present.

"A special thought goes to all the fans: I will always carry you in my heart. I wanted to give something more, but I did my best in every minute that was given to me to honour this fantastic shirt!"

Barcelona are the 10th club Boateng has represented during his career, and the second in LaLiga following his stint with Las Palmas in 2016-17.

Adrien Rabiot admits the opportunity to play alongside "great champion" Cristiano Ronaldo and sage advice from Gianluigi Buffon influenced his decision to sign for Juventus.

French midfielder Rabiot joined his new club on a free transfer from Paris Saint-Germain on Monday.

The 24-year-old reportedly rebuffed interest from Manchester United and described Juventus as a "step up" from Ligue 1 champions PSG as he faced the media for the first time in Turin.

Part of the allure, Rabiot revealed, was the prospect of calling Portugal superstar Ronaldo a team-mate.

"I had the chance to grow up playing with top players, which helped me a lot," Rabiot said.

"Ronaldo is a great champion. The chance to play with him definitely had a bearing on my decision.

"But I know the whole dressing room is packed with world-class players and a positive spirit."

Rabiot's seven seasons in PSG's first team saw him rub shoulders with current Juventus midfielder Blaise Matuidi and Bianconeri great Buffon, who spent the past 12 months at Parc des Princes.

Buffon, now a free agent, has been linked with a return to the Serie A champions and played a crucial role in guiding Rabiot towards Allianz Stadium.

"Gigi spoke to me a lot about Juventus and his opinion matters a lot," the six-cap France international said.

"He knows the club very well and told me many interesting things.

"He told me that if I wanted to take a step forward in my career I had to choose Juve, so I did. I have a lot of respect for him and I listened to him.

"Juve is a very prestigious club with great experience in Europe. They often reach the last stages.

"As I see it, I'm at a club which is clearly at a higher level of PSG, which is what inspired me a lot to make this choice."

Rabiot will wear the number 25 shirt. The length of his contract has not been confirmed.

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