Weeks have gone by with papers saying that Angelo Ogbonna was ready to finalize his move to Juventus. It started out looking like it would get done in a matter days, now it's stretched to over a month's worth of negotiations.
It's been a long, rumor-filled process that has seen a deal come close to being done, close to being dead, then close to being wrapped up all over again. Now, it's finally signed, sealed, and delivered. Hey, what's a couple extra weeks when there's no actual games going, on, right? (Don't answer that.)
Ogbonna, Torino's highly-rated 25-year-old defender, completed his move across town to Juventus on Wednesday after completing his medical exams earlier in the day, becoming the Old Lady's second signing of the summer after Carlos Tevez's arrival was announced on June 26. From Juventus' official website:
Italian international defender Angelo Ogbonna has today completed a permanent move from Torino to Juventus.
The 25-year-old, whose impressive club performances earned him a place in Cesare Prandelli's European Championship squad last summer, has put pen to paper on a five-year contract which keeps him with the Bianconeri until 2018.
Juventus will part with €13 million for the player's full registration rights, to be paid in installments over the next three years.
The fee could rise by a further €2 million if Ogbonna achieves certain sporting targets stipulated in the agreement reached by the two clubs.
Ogbonna, who has been a fairly regular presence on Cesare Prandelli's Italy roster for the past couple of years, wasn't a part of the Azzurri squad that took third place at the recently completed Confederations Cup. He appeared in 22 games for Torino in their first season back in Serie A, compiling a very impressive 92.7 percent on his passes — something Antonio Conte will clearly love — and averaging 1.9 tackles and 2.1 interceptions per contest.
Angelo Ogbonna: Of every player to have made 10+ appearances, the defender had the highest pass success (92.7%) in Serie A last season— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) July 11, 2013
It was widely regarded as a fairly poor season for somebody like Ogbonna — Gab Marcotti basically said it was god awful on a recent edition of ESPNFC PressPass — who has the talent level and potential that everybody says he has. But Ogbonna has been sought after by Beppe Marotta for quite awhile, even before the not-so-great season he completed a few months ago.
Still, the talent is there. Where he exactly he fits into the puzzle is still to be seen. But one would expect Ogbonna will slot in behind Giorgio Chiellini on the left side of Juve's three-man defense. His speed will certainly be an asset to a group that is far from the fleetest of foot.
Just think about this, though: Fernando Llorente (duh), Tevez, and now Ogbonna all signed and with the team before they go to Chatillon on Friday for preseason training. Not bad, not bad at all.