Juventus announces Ronaldo exit, signs Kean as a replacement

MILAN (AP) — The headline move on transfer deadline day in Italy was yet another top player leaving Serie A.

Juventus completed the sale of Cristiano Ronaldo to Manchester United on Tuesday and the five-time world player of the year follows in the footsteps of Romelu Lukaku, Achraf Hakimi and Gianluigi Donnarumma, who all left Italy earlier in the offseason.

There was some consolation for Juventus, in that minutes after announcing Ronaldo’s departure, the club secured his replacement.

Juventus said Moise Kean returned on a two-year loan deal from Everton, with an obligation to buy him subject to meeting certain targets. The Italy forward will cost 7 million euros ($8.3 million) over two seasons and 28 million euros ($33 million) for a permanent transfer.

Kean started his professional career at Juventus in 2016, having joined the club six years earlier. He moved to Everton in 2019 but never held down a regular starting spot and went out on loan to Paris Saint-Germain last season.

Kean will fill the void in the squad left by Ronaldo, who is moving to Manchester United for a second spell at Old Trafford.

United said Tuesday that Ronaldo signed a two-year contract with an option for a third year. A fee of 15 million euros ($17.75 million) will be paid to Juventus over five years. That could be increased by 8 million euros ($9.5 million) depending on “specific performance objectives.”

Ronaldo ends a three-year spell at Juve, where he scored 101 goals in 133 appearances.

“Everyone has a shared emotion that does not need to be dusted off, because everyone will always remember what they felt in walking this stretch of road together,” Juventus said in a statement.

“Today that bond born on July 10, three years ago, has been dissolved, but what has been written will forever remain. It has been an incredible journey.”

There was little other movement of note in Serie A on the final day of the transfer window, with clubs hit hard financially by the coronavirus pandemic.

Most of the top teams had already concluded the few deals they made earlier in the transfer window.

However, AC Milan confirmed the arrival of attacking midfielder Junior Messias on loan from Crotone. Incredibly, Messias was a delivery driver and part-time footballer until his mid-20s and was playing in the fourth division of Italian soccer just three years ago. The 30-year-old could soon be playing in the Champions League.

Milan, which finished runner-up to Serie A champion Inter Milan last year, has been one of the most active clubs in the transfer window, bringing in the likes of Olivier Giroud, Alessandro Florenzi, Tiémoué Bakayoko and Mike Maignan.

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