59m euros for Buffon!
Manchester City are preparing to make a world record 50 million pound (59m euros) bid to sign Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, The Times reported on Saturday.
According to the paper City's wealthy new Arab owners have targeted the Italian World Cup winner as their next major capture.
If they pull it off the deal would surpass the world record 48m pounds Real Madrid paid Juventus for Zinedine Zidane in 2001.
According to The Times a delegation from Man City travelled to Turin this month to discuss a possible transfer although it is not thought thy spoke to the player or club directly.
City are suggested to be prepared to do what it takes to secure the 30-year-old's services, including paying him 160,000 pounds a week in wages - the same amount that has made Robinho the highest paid footballer in the Premier League.
Robinho joined City from Real Madrid on a British transfer record of 34.2m pounds on September 1, the day City was ought by the Abu Dhabi United Group.
Manager Mark Hughes discussed Buffon when he held talks with Sheikh Mansour, the Group's main financial backer, in Abu Dhabi last week.
While The Times does not name sources it suggests City, who host Arsenal later Saturday, are hoping to lure Buffon to Manchester in the January transfer window or at the latest next summer.
Buffon appeared to be aware of the bid when in an interview with Italian television which was quoted in Saturday's article he said: "At the moment a move is not on the cards. But if someone offers 50 million euros to the club, I will be the first to tell the directors to sell me.
"I want the best for Juventus and with that amount they could reinforce the squad."
Juventus however were dismissive of the notion of selling Buffon when the notion first emerged in the Italian press on Friday.
"'Gigi' is untransferable, he's not for sale," Juventus managing director Jean-Claude Blanc told the club's website.
He added: "He doesn't have a price and so there's nothing to discuss, there's never been any contact between the two clubs and no offer from Manchster City.