Football Transfer News | Di Maria, Pogba join Juventus; Ajax smash transfer record for Bergwijn from Spurs, and more

Angel Di Maria landed in Turin on Thursday night ahead of his move to Juventus after being released by Paris Saint-Germain at the end of last season

July 08, 2022 07:10 pm | Updated 07:10 pm IST

Angel Di Maria landed in Turin on Thursday night ahead of his move to Juventus after being released by Paris Saint-Germain at the end of last season.

Angel Di Maria landed in Turin on Thursday night ahead of his move to Juventus after being released by Paris Saint-Germain at the end of last season. | Photo Credit: instagram/@juventus

Argentina winger Di Maria will undergo his medical on Friday before signing a one-year deal with the Serie A club which will earn him a reported salary of seven million euros ($7.14 million).

The 34-year-old joins Juve ahead of the winter World Cup in Qatar into which his national team head as Copa America champions.

He left PSG after the French champions decided not to renew his contract last term, his position at the club downgraded by the arrival of Argentina teammate Lionel Messi last summer.

He played 295 times in all competitions for PSG, scoring 95 goals and racking up 112 assists in seven years in the French capital.

He won five league titles and five French Cups but missed out on the Champions League in 2020 when PSG were beaten in the final by Bayern Munich.

Juve are also set for the return of France midfielder Paul Pogba as they try to bounce back from an underwhelming campaign in which they finished fourth, 16 points behind league winners AC Milan.

Pogba returns to Juventus

 Paul Pogba is travelling to Turin on Friday ahead of the France midfielder’s return as a free agent to Juventus, the Serie A club where he made his name.

The 29-year-old all-but announced his comeback on Friday when he posted on social media a video filmed on the airplane taking him to Italy from Miami, in which he said “see you soon” in Italian while wearing clothes in Juve’s colours of black and white.

Italian media report that he is expected to arrive in Turin at 1600 local time (1400 GMT).

World Cup winner Pogba is set to sign a deal which will earn him a reported eight million euros ($8.12 million) a season plus a potential further two million in bonuses.

He will rejoin Juve after his contract with Manchester United expired at the end of last month, marking the end of a largely disappointing six years in England.

Dysfunctional United are further away from the top of English football than they were when he joined, having not won a Premier League title in nine years.

The 2017 Europa League and the same season’s League Cup is a poor haul for Pogba at one of the world’s biggest clubs, especially as they both came under Jose Mourinho when he said he suffered from depression.

Pogba is expected to inherit the number 10 jersey left vacant by Paulo Dybala, who could join Juve’s fiercest rivals Inter Milan after the Argentina forward was let go by the Turin giants.

Pogba had worn that jersey in his final season at Juve before joining United in 2016 for a then-world record fee of £89 million, joining a list of iconic playmakers like Roberto Baggio, Alessandro del Piero, Michele Platini and Liam Brady to wear the shirt.

He had moved to Juve from United four years previously while still a teenager and made a huge impression in a slick midfield featuring the likes of Andrea Pirlo and Arturo Vidal.

Pogba blossomed under coach Massimiliano Allegri when he replaced Antonio Conte in 2014, and drove a powerful team to the following year’s Champions league final, losing to Barcelona.

He won the Serie A title in each of his four seasons at the Old Lady of Italian football and retained affection for Juve, being linked with a return to the club on several occasions during his time at United.

Allegri will be hoping that Pogba can help Juve return to their former glories after a tricky campaign left them fourth, some 16 points behind champions AC Milan.

Juve are also set to complete the signing of Argentina winger Angel Di Maria after he was released by Paris Saint-Germain.

Ajax smash Dutch transfer record to buy Steven Bergwijn from Totteham Hotspur

Steven Bergwijn has joined Ajax from Tottenham on a five-year deal for a Dutch transfer record of 31.5 million euros ($31.9 million), the Amsterdam club announced Friday.

The international winger, capped 22 times by the Netherlands, came through the youth ranks at Ajax, but is yet to don a first-team jersey.

Bergwijn signed for Tottenham in 2020, scoring seven goals in 60 appearances for the London club, without properly nailing down a starting berth.

The 24-year-old made it clear in May he wanted to leave Spurs for a club that would allow him more gametime in his bid to make the Netherlands squad for this year’s World Cup in Qatar.

Bergwijn’s transfer fee smashed the previous highest in Dutch football, the 22 million euros Ajax paid West Ham for Ivory Coast striker Sebastien Haller in 2021.

Haller himself left Ajax on Wednesday to sign for Borussia Dortmund for a transfer fee of 31 million euros ($31.5 million), an amount that could rise to 34.5 million.

Veteran goalkeeper Pepe Reina signs for Villarreal

Veteran goalkeeper Pepe Reina is returning to the Spanish league after agreeing to a one-year deal with Villarreal, the club said Friday.

Reina originally played for Villarreal from 2002-2005 before making the leap to Liverpool, where he established himself as a top player at his position.

Reina will turn 40 in August. He last played for Lazio in Italy, after stints with AC Milan, Aston Villa, Napoli and Bayern Munich. He arrives to Villarreal as a free agent.

On joining Unai Emery’s team, Reina will likely serve as a backup to Gerónimo Rulli after longtime Villarreal goalie Sergio Asenjo moved to Valladolid.

Reina started his career in Barcelona’s youth academy. In eight seasons for Liverpool, he helped the team win the FA Cup in 2006 and the English League Cup in 2012. He won the 2015 Bundesliga title with Bayern and the 2014 Italian Cup with Napoli.

Reina was a backup on the Spain teams that won the 2010 World Cup and the European Championship in 2008 and 2012.

With updates from agencies.

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