Reigning Italian champion Juventus will sign Turkish international center-back Merih Demiral for 15 million euros ($16.8 million) after an impressive half season at Sassuolo, reports said.
Juventus will complete Demiral's transfer using its first purchase option in Sassuolo's transfer agreement despite a late interest by Atletico Madrid, which reportedly offered 25 million euros ($28 million) for the 21-year-old player, according to Sky Sport Italia's Gianluca Di Marzio.
Demiral could remain on loan with Sassuolo in the upcoming season. His performance in Serie A also made him one of the favorite young players of Turkey coach Şenol Güneş.
Raised in youth development teams of Istanbul giant Fenerbahçe, Demiral signed with Portugal's AC Alcanenense in July 2016 in a free transfer, reportedly turning down a professional contract from Fenerbahçe on minimum wage (then TL 1,000). He then moved to Sporting CP B, the reserve team of prominent Portuguese club Sporting CP Lisbon, for 180,000 euros ($200,000).
Demiral was loaned to Turkish Süper Lig club Aytemiz Alanyaspor in the beginning of 2018-19 season in August, who signed with the young player for 1.35 million euros ($1.51 million) in January transfer window and loaned him to Sassuolo. The Italian club used its purchase option for 7 million euros ($7.8 million) in June after Demiral became one of the key figures in their defense, appearing 14 times in 19 matches and scoring two goals.