Mancini leaves door open for Buffon's Italy return

Veteran goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon turned down a Italy call-up in June but Roberto Mancini has left the door open for a return.

Italy legend Gianluigi Buffon   -  Getty Images

Gianluigi Buffon could have the opportunity to add to his record of 176 Italy caps, as Roberto Mancini has left the door open for the veteran goalkeeper to return to the national side.

The Azzurri legend, who leaves Juventus this summer after 17 years in Turin, turned down a call-up for Italy's friendlies against Saudi Arabia, France and the Netherlands but may continue his international career.

Mancini has a strong quota of keepers to choose from as Italy looks to bounce back from the disappointment of failing to qualify for the World Cup in Russia, including AC Milan's Gianluigi Donnarumma and new Juventus signing Mattia Perin.

Despite the wealth of options between the posts, the door is open for Buffon if he is keen to continue his long career with the Azzurri.

"If someone is fit and in good form when the time comes then I don't see why they wouldn't be called," Mancini told Radio Rai Uno.

"Experienced players can help this young national team. I'm sure my goalkeepers are all starters, including Donnarumma and Perin.

"I'm sure they'll all play at their respective clubs and I alternated between them to get to know them better. It's one thing to watch them from the outside, quite another to see them on the pitch."

Italy's first competitive game under Mancini comes against Poland in the inaugural UEFA Nation's League in September, where it'll also tackle Euro 2016 champions Portugal.

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