DAVID SMITH - Thursday, March 4, 2021
Weston McKennie's loan to Juventus has now become a permanent deal as the Italian giants announced on Wednesday that they have exercised the option on the midfielder.

The deal will see the Bianconeri pay a transfer fee of 22.3 million dollars to German Bundesliga team Schalke which could rise up to 30 million based on performance bonuses. McKennie has also signed a new contract that will go through June 2025.

After last summer's transfer window in which the likes of Hertha Berlin, Southampton, and Liverpool chased to sign the 22-year-old, it looked like a huge gamble heading to Italy to play for the reigning Serie A champions. However, he has proven to be one of the catalysts in the team's campaign to win a 10th consecutive title and other honors as he's played in 31 combined games and scored five goals.

Juventus head coach Andrea Pirlo has depended greatly on the Texas native this season even though he admitted he needs rest. And it looks like he will be contributing much as the team has a very busy schedule in March. Sitting in third place in the Serie A standings and seven points behind Inter Milan, they will need maximum points when they face Lazio, Cagliari, and Benevento.

Winning the Champions League is also Juve's objective, but they will have to overcome a 2-1 first-leg loss when they take on Porto.