As much as the Matthijs de Ligt transfer saga has occupied pretty much all of our central defender-related thoughts over the past month or so, there was always going to be other business needed to be done by Fabio Paratici simply because the squad required it.
One of those pieces of business is now a done deal.
Juventus announced on Friday that they have purchased Turkish defender Merih Demiral from Sassuolo for €18 million. The 21-year-old Demiral, who arrived in Serie A just one transfer window ago, signed a five-year contract with Juventus that will keep him in Turin through the 2023-24 season.
The official wording, courtesy of juventus.com:
Turin, 5 July 2019 - Juventus Football Club S.p.A. announces that the agreement with U.S. Sassuolo Calcio S.r.l. for the definitive acquisition of the registration rights of the player Merih Demiral has been finalized for a consideration of € 18 million payable in four financial years.
Juventus and the player have signed a 5-year contract of employment until 30 June 2024.
Demiral, who most recently put in quite an impressive performance against France while on international duty with Turkey, had been expected to sign with Juventus for weeks. Juventus needed to sign at least two central defenders this summer with the retirement of Andrea Barzagli and the departure of Martin Caceres, whose third spell at the club wasn’t expected to be much of anything past the initial six-month loan deal with Lazio that lined up with his contract expiring.
Now we have one of the names who will be taking up one of the reserve roles in the center of Juventus’ defense.
The other one — you know, that young Dutch fella — is expected to play a much bigger part.
But for Demiral, who Sassuolo signed on loan with an obligation to buy this past January, it’s been a quick rise from the second division in Portugal, then to Turkey and now with Serie A’s top club. While he may not be expected to be a crucial part of Juventus’ defense in the immediate future, shelling out €18 million on a 21-year-old defender who has all of six months of Serie A experience to his name isn’t exactly something that you would say is shrewd business.