In the past, when I've heard a rumor about Medhi Benatia joining Juventus, I've treated it just as such. Maybe that's because of the fact that one of the main sources of said rumors of the past has been Tuttosport, I dunno. But, when you think about it, a lot of the Benatia-Juventus rumors over the past 18 months or so proved to be, well, just your typical transfer rumors.
The rumors are no longer simply rumors. Or, maybe we can just say all of the rumors we thought were a bunch of crap are now turning out to be true. Juventus has added its latest signing for the summer of 2016. Benatia, who left Italy as one of the best defenders Serie A had to offer two years ago, is back where he made a name for himself. The 29-year-old Moroccan has undergone his medical examinations at JMedical, he's signed his contract and his loan deal from Bayern Munich to Juventus is now officially done as "officially done" gets.
Benatia is also reportedly set to earn €2.9 million this season, a pay cut of over €1 million from his €4 million annual salary that he earned during his time with Bayern Munich.
Some official details on the deal, courtesy of the good folks who run Juventus' website:
Juventus Football Club can this evening confirm that Medhi Benatia has joined the club on a season-long loan deal from Bayern Munich for a fee of €3 million, to be paid at the international transfer release.
The agreement also provides Juventus with the option to purchase the defender on a permanent basis for a price of €17 million, to be paid over two financial years. This option must be exercised before 30 May 2017.
Good. Very, very good. I like that, thus the reason I am describing said transaction by Juventus' front office as "Good. Very, very good."
Benatia arrives in Italy clearly in a different kind of situation as when he left after a standout 2013-14 campaign with Roma. Back then, he was one of the best central defenders in Serie A and Europe as a whole. Roma, doing what Roma does, cashed in on their latest prized asset. He subsequently spent the next two years in Munich dealing with a lack of playing time and a body that couldn't stay healthy.
He will be a reserve with Juventus, that's no doubt. But if the goal is to test out on a season-long loan and then see what there is after 10 months, then who are we to judge, right? The loan deal doesn't have an obligation to buy, rather just a simple yes/no option. If it doesn't work, then it doesn't work and back to Bayern he goes. If Benatia does play well, then Juve have a player that can certainly contribute in some shape or form.
Medhi Benatia: Only 1 player with 10+ CL apps in the last 2 seasons has made an interception more often than @MedhiBenatia (every 22.8 mins)— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) July 14, 2016
(That player was Simone Padoin. Okay, I'm kidding.)
Hey, so I guess his time at Bayern wasn't that bad. And he got to celebrate winning titles while in Germany, which hopefully comes in handy over however long his Juventus career may end up being.