Adrien Rabiot is close to finalising his anticipated move to Juventus and will join an esteemed tradition with the Serie A champions in the process.
A contractual dispute contributed to the French midfielder being frozen out of first-team affairs at Paris Saint-Germain last term and he was linked to a host of European heavyweights.
But Juve got their man, as they so often have when it comes to securing high-class free transfers in an ever-inflated market.
With Wales international Aaron Ramsey also arriving for no fee following an 11-year stay at Arsenal, we look at other players who have run their deals down to join the dominant force in Italian football.
World Cup winner Pirlo was used sparingly during his final season at AC Milan in 2010-11, reaching a decision with the club that he would depart at the end of the campaign. But the Rossoneri failed to build on their title triumph and Pirlo joined Juventus, where he won the Scudetto the following season. He lifted the league title in the three seasons after that, too, before moving to MLS.
With Pirlo starring in a deeper role in Turin, 2012 signing Paul Pogba was given license to roam. The Frenchman had not been trusted with a first-team role at Manchester United and it cost the Premier League giants, who splashed out a club-record £89.3million on Pogba four years and four Serie A titles later. In terms of return on the pitch and in monetary terms, this was a superb deal for Juventus, who have continued to dominate since Pogba’s mixed and much-debated second coming at Old Trafford.
— OptaPaolo (@OptaPaolo) August 7, 2016
While not quite the same success as Pirlo or Pogba on the field, Coman was another Juventus signing that proved an economic victory. Running down his contract at PSG – albeit not as tempestuously as Rabiot – the winger moved to Juventus and impressed enough in 15 Serie A appearances to earn a move to Bayern Munich. The Bundesliga champions paid €7m for a two-year loan in 2015, making the deal permanent for €21m, although injury woes have hindered Coman of late.
With Pirlo and Arturo Vidal departing in 2015, Khedira was tempted to Juventus by the promise of regular match action. The Germany international has helped to maintain the Bianconeri’s dominance in Serie A ever since and he recorded the best scoring season of his career in 2017-18 with nine league goals in just 26 matches. The fitness woes that have often dogged the midfielder returned last term, when he was also treated for a heart condition.
Alves arrived at Juventus from Barcelona as a veteran option for the 2016-17 season. He stayed for just that single campaign, yet his impact was huge. Massimiliano Allegri’s men won Serie A and the Coppa Italia, with Alves scoring in the final of the latter. Most notably, although ultimately disappointingly, the Brazilian helped to steer Juve to the Champions League final. They were beaten by Real Madrid, but he had been inspired against Monaco in the last four.
— JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) May 17, 2017
Khedira’s struggles throughout 2018-19 were not so keenly felt due to the presence of his international colleague Can, who penned a four-year deal after leaving Liverpool. The midfielder started in 20 of his 29 Serie A appearances and chipped in with four goals.
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