Thursday January 12 2012
Zoff issues Juve-Leali warning

Dino Zoff has praised former club Juventus over their proposed swoop for Nicola Leali – but warned that the youngster needs to play.

The Old Lady are on the verge of signing the goalkeeper from Brescia, a boy who won’t turn 19 until next month.

“He’s a promising youngster,” the legendary Italian national goalkeeper told La Stampa on Thursday. “When you buy a player of that age then you are trying to secure the future.

“We shouldn’t get carried away though. I’ve already heard comparisons with Gigi Buffon and it’ll be important for the boy to see a champion like that up close and personal.

“However, there is no doubt that it is always preferable if a youngster gets the opportunity to play…”

Buffon is still seen as Juventus’ first choice goalkeeper, but he will celebrate his 34th birthday later this month.

Should Juve complete the capture of Leali, it is unclear whether he will be instantly brought to Turin or loaned out to a smaller club who could guarantee him regular football.

Leali has also been linked with moves to Barcelona, Sporting Lisbon, Atletico Madrid and Manchester City.