After spending a year on loan at Empoli last season, Koni De Winter’s return to Juventus this summer was viewed as a potential chance to break into the first team at the club he first signed with in the summer of 2019. Those chances were probably at least partially dashed when the young Belgian didn’t appear in either of Juve’s two friendlies in the United States.
And they’re most definitely dashed now.
According to Sky Sport Italia’s Gianluca Di Marzio and other Italian outlets on Thursday night, Juventus and Genoa are close to agreeing to a deal that will see the 21-year-old De Winter move to the newly promoted side on an initial loan deal for the 2023-24 season. Per Di Marzio, there will be a €10 million clause in the contract that will become an obligation if Genoa don’t get relegated to Serie B in their first season back in Serie A and other performance-related criteria.
De Winter had previously garnered interest from Nice and another newly promoted side in Serie A, Frosinone, before Genoa pulled ahead in negotiations.
The versatile Belgian defender appeared in 14 games with Empoli a season ago. His season, however, came to an early end in mid-April when he picked up a knee injury late in the first half of a 1-0 loss to Cremonese. De Winter returned to action for the U-21 Euros and appeared in all three of Belgium’s group stage games.
De Winter is the second young defender to join Genoa from Juventus on an initial loan deal in the last year and a half, with Romanian center back Radu Dragusin going on loan last summer before being purchased outright this past January.
If he ends up being purchased outright by Genoa, De Winter would be one of the sales (and profits) from a player who came through the youth ranks and appeared for the Next Gen squad, which was founded in August of 2018.