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Donnarumma can be Buffon's Italy heir, says Ventura

New Italy boss Giampiero Ventura wants AC Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma to become incumbent number one Gianluigi Buffon's heir for the national side.

Azzurri captain Buffon, 38, is coming towards the end of his career, with 17-year-old Donnarumma tipped to be his eventual replacement having already broken into the first-team at San Siro.

Ventura visited Milan's squad and spoke to the players this week as he continues to tour Serie A clubs having replaced Antonio Conte at the helm of the national side.

As well as praising Milan boss Vincenzo Montella, Ventura urged Donnarumma not to relent as he strives to improve his game.

"Donnarumma is a very young lad who enjoyed an excellent season last year," Ventura said to Milan TV.

"Time is on his side and he will have to keep working, always striving to improve. 

"He could be the heir to Buffon, I wish this for him and I wish this for the Nazionale as well."

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Discussing his visit to Milanello, Ventura added: "There are many Italians here, unlike elsewhere.

"There are also many players who can be useful to the national team and this was the right day to get to know them.

"We have to start again from the good things that we saw at the last Euros. We saw that good organisation can take us far.

"Vincenzo Montella is a very knowledgeable coach, who has his clear ideas and works to put them in practice."