Weston McKennie is finally set to move to the Premier League with multiple reports sharing details of the move that will take the 24-year-old from Italian club Juventus to a Leeds United team that is stockpiling U.S. national team talent.
The USMNT midfielder has been at Juventus since moving to Turin in the summer of 2020, first on loan and then via a permanent deal a year later. While he has developed during his time with the Italian giants, there have been plenty of bumps in the road, and it could be time for the 24-year-old to move on.
Juventus were rocked in January by a 15-point penalty in the Serie A table due to a financial scandal that has now impacted the club’s transfer plans, since it’s unlikely that the Old Lady will secure a place in the lucrative Champions League next season.
Leeds United are set to take advantage with a deal that is all but done.
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Weston McKennie to Leeds, here we go! Understand Leeds will pay €1.2m loan fee — deal will include buy option clause for €33m plus add ons 🚨⚪️🇺🇸 #LUFC
Leeds president Radrizzani unlocked the deal with Juventus in the night.
McKennie has agreed personal terms with Leeds. pic.twitter.com/mY1g6Fuql0
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) January 28, 2023
Weston McKennie will travel to England in the next 24h to undergo medical test and sign the contract as new Leeds Utd player. ⚪️✈️🇺🇸 #LUFC
€1.2m loan fee, €33m plus add-ons as buy option, personal terms agreed.
Move confirmed ✅ #USMNT pic.twitter.com/zb36cMJTkK
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) January 28, 2023
Latest McKennie transfer news
In recent days, Gianluca Di Marzio, Fabrizio Romano, and Matteo Moretto have all reported that Leeds were in contact with McKennie’s representatives and in discussions with Juventus officials.
Leeds manager Jesse Marsch, who is a fellow American, also made contact with Weston McKennie to make a pitch to the Juventus midfielder. The reports stated that Marsch explained exactly how McKennie would fit at Leeds and how he would be used at the Premier League club.
On January 24, Di Marzio reported that McKennie gave his approval for a move to Leeds. After Fabrizio Romano reported that talks were “progressing well” between the clubs, on January 28 he confirmed that a deal was reached for a €1.2m (£1.05) loan fee for the rest of the 2022/23 season, plus an option to purchase McKennie’s contract (which runs through 2025) for €33m (£29m) plus add-ons.
The Athletic’s David Ornstein reported that McKennie was arriving in Leeds to seal the deal on Sunday, January 29.
🚨 Weston McKennie from Juventus to Leeds on loan with option to buy now verbally agreed. Personal terms also in place. 24yo USA midfielder in Turin, should arrive tomorrow to complete move. Looks too late for rivals:https://t.co/GN3oai2t49@TheAthleticFC #LUFC #Juventus #Juve https://t.co/utrq4ADyGO
— David Ornstein (@David_Ornstein) January 28, 2023
Leeds are facing a relegation battle, sitting 15th in the league with 18 points, just one point above the drop zone. They could use McKennie’s work rate, personality and aerial ability to help make a difference.
McKennie to Premier League rumors
According to reports in Italy, including from Gazzetto dello Sport, multiple Premier League clubs have made contact with Weston McKennie’s agent hoping to secure a move for the American this January.
The report stated that Arsenal, Aston Villa, and Fulham were at one point all in contact with the agent and club to feel out whether a transfer was viable. It also stated that Juventus have set an asking price of between €20-25 million for a total transfer fee.
However, the report also mentioned at the time that McKennie would have liked to stay at Juventus unless a “top club” made an offer. Premier League leaders Arsenal were closest to fitting that bill, but it was unlikely McKennie would have been anything more than a backup to the trio of Thomas Partey, Granit Xhaka, and Martin Odegaard who are all in exceptional form at the moment.
A move to Fulham would have made the most sense, given the club’s American connection and status as a top-half side, but a place in European football still seemed unlikely for the high-flying Cottagers and that would have been something McKennie would not have wanted to miss out on.
Finally, the report stated that German side Borussia Dortmund and French club AS Monaco both made enquiries in the summer, but not much resulted from that outreach.
There have also been links to Liverpool in the past, as recent as in the aftermath of the 2022 World Cup. The Daily Mail named McKennie as a possible loan option for the Reds, who are in desperate need of midfield options due to injuries and poor form.
Weston McKennie contract, salary at Juventus
Upon joining Juventus permanently from Schalke in the summer of 2021, Weston McKennie signed a four-year contract which runs through the summer of 2025.
This means he still has a decent amount of time remaining on his current deal, which likely provided Juventus leverage in negotiations.
According to Gazzetto dello Sport in 2020, while McKennie was on loan at Juventus, the American was on wages of around €2.5 million per year. That was before signing his permanent contract, which sees him earning €3.2 million per year, according to Capology.