United and Bayern mull Buffon move
Sir Alex Ferguson's side have been linked with a string of glove-men in recent weeks, with veteran Dutchman Edwin van der Sar expected to retire at the end of the season.
Schalke stopper Manuel Neuer, Sporting glove-man Rui Patricio, Lazio custodian Fernando Muslera, Bayer Leverkusen 'keeper Rene Adler, Fiorentina shot-stopper Sebastien Frey and CSKA Moscow No.1 Igor Akinfeev are all reportedly on Ferguson's shortlist. The Old Trafford supremo ruled out a move for the latter following Tuesday's Champions League draw with the Russians. But, according to Tuttosport, Italian stalwart Buffon is also on the Red Devils' radar.
The 31-year-old has made more than 200 league appearances for the Old Lady since arriving from Parma in 2001, and reaffirmed his place as one of the world's best goalkeepers this week with a stunning save against Maccabi Haifa in the Champions League.
However, the Premier League champions could face competition for Buffon - who has won 99 caps for Italy - from German giants Bayern Munich.
The Allianz Arena outfit are still to find a long-term successor to legendary custodian Oliver Kahn, with present incumbent Hans Jorg Butt making two mistakes in the 2-0 defeat to Bordeaux on Tuesday to leave the club's hopes of qualifying for the Champions League knockout stages in serious doubt.
And Bayern general manager Uli Hoeness has hinted that the 21-time Bundesliga winners are on the lookout for a top-class stopper.
"Butt will continue until the end of the season, then we will buy a great keeper in the summer," he said.