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Sport

Juventus sign American McKennie on loan with option to buy

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Bundesliga - Schalke 04 v VfL Wolfsburg - Veltins-Arena, Gelsenkirchen, Germany - June 20, 2020 Schalke 04's Weston McKennie looks dejected after the match, following the resumption of play behind closed doors after the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay

(Reuters) - Juventus have signed United States international midfielder Weston McKennie on a one-season loan from German club Schalke with an option to buy at the end of the campaign, the Italian champions said late on Saturday.

The Turin club, who sealed a ninth straight Serie A title last month, will pay 4.5 million euros for the loan period and up to 25.5 million euros more if they decide to make the move permanent, Juventus said in a statement.

The versatile 22-year-old started his career in the youth system at FC Dallas before moving to the Schalke academy as a teenager, going on to score five goals in 91 appearances for the Bundesliga side.

“The agreement we have made with Juventus is the most financially beneficial for Schalke and the most attractive sporting move for Weston,” Schalke’s Head of Sport Jochen Schneider said.

“Obviously deciding to let go one of our most talented players like Weston is partly down to the financial state the club is in.”

McKennie has played largely as a defensive midfielder for Schalke, making him a potential like-for-like replacement for Frenchman Blaise Matuidi.

Matuidi left Juventus at the conclusion of his contract this month to head to the United States with Major League Soccer (MLS) outfit Inter Miami.

Reporting by Nick Mulvenney; Editing by Clarence Fernandez

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