Moroccan defender Mehdi Benatia has swapped one European footballing powerhouse for another as Juventus have announced his signature from Bayern Munich yesterday.
The Serie A champions have paid $3.3m (£2.5m) for the loan spell and have the choice to buy him for $18.8m (£14.3m) next summer.
It’s not the first bit of business that the two clubs have done recently as Kingsley Coman has spent the last two seasons at The Allianz Arena with a view to a permanent move, a clause which will be activated this Summer. Although on the performances that Coman has delivered for Bayern the Turin based side will no doubt be wondering how the French international slipped through the net.
For Benatia it sees a return back to Italian football after spells at both Udinese and Roma previously. The Moroccan made 23 appearances last season en route to picking up the Bundesliga title but his chances of first team football next season will certainly be diminished with the signing of Mats Hummels from nearest rivals Borussia Dortmund.
At 29 years old he will feel that he is coming into his peak years as a centre back and understandably doesn’t want to spend that time playing a bit part role at the Bavarian club. He will though find himself competing for a spot in Juventus back three one that at present is sown up by the trio of Italian players who represented their country during Euro 2016.
He’ll have to try and find a way of breaking up the unit of Leonardo Bonucci, Giorgio Chiellini and Andrea Barzagli but with Barzagli now 35 it will be he that is the more likely of the three to make way for the arrival of Benatia.
One thing that is for sure is that Juventus are once again going to be the team to catch in Serie A next season.