The reports of Juventus’ interest in young Uruguayan center back Facundo Gonzalez simply came out of nowhere. Before you knew it, they had reportedly overtaken every other club that was in the mix and things were just about ready to be finalized.
Now they have.
According to reports out of Italy on Monday, Juventus have finalized the deal for the 20-year-old Uruguayan with his current club, Valencia. Juve will reportedly pay a transfer fee in the range of between €2 million and €3 million plus some potential bonuses, with Valencia also potentially owning a percentage of any future sale. Upon his arrival in Turin — when exactly it will happen is still TBD — Gonzalez will reportedly sign a contract through 2028.
But Juve simply closing the deal is not the end of it. Rather than being somebody who potentially bounces between the senior and Next Gen squads with no European football this coming season, Gonzalez will reportedly spend the 2023-24 campaign on loan at Salernitana, according to Sky Italia’s Gianluca Di Marzio. It was the same Salernitana side that was one of the rumored clubs trying to sign Gonzalez outright before Juve swooped in and secured his signature.
Gonzalez, who turned 20 years old just last month, rose to prominence during Uruguay’s impressive run to winning the Under-20 World Cup earlier this summer. In leading his country to the title, the 6-foot-4 Gonzalez a key cog in a defense that recorded six shutouts in seven games at the tournament.
In reportedly beating out Inter and Salernitana, Juventus hope that they’ve got the first of many low-cost Cristiano Giuntoli finds on the transfer market. It’s something that he showed time and time again during his near-decade-long run at Napoli.
But considering that Gonzalez has only played for Valencia’s reserve team in Spain’s second division, a year on loan with a lower-table side like Salernitana could do him a whole lot of good. Will there be pressure of playing for a team that could be in a relegation battle? Sure, but it could also be a place where he would get more playing time than he would in Turin and not have to bounce between the senior squad and the Next Gen team in Serie C.
The date in which Gonzalez will undergo his medicals and sign his contract has yet to be determined, according to reports.