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How Juventus poached Turkish wonderkid Kenan Yıldız from Bayern Munich

It all went down as Bayern were closing on on Matthijs de Ligt.

Wales v Turkey: Group D - UEFA EURO 2024 European Qualifiers Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images

In the same summer transfer window where Bayern Munich scored former Ajax defender Matthijs de Ligt from Juventus, the Serie A side poached a talented youth product from the Bayern campus: Kenan Yıldız, now 18 and scoring international goals against Germany. The youngster was signed on a free transfer.

Ex-Juventus chief scout Matteo Tognozzi tells how all that went down — and his biggest fear at the time.

“We took Kenan away from Bayern Munich in the days when their sporting director [Hasan] Salihamidžić was in Turin to close the De Ligt deal,” Tognozzi was quoted saying in Tuttosport (as captured by @iMiaSanMia). “So maybe we risked ruining the deal. We feared that the operation could have repercussions on De Ligt’s sale for over €80 million. But luckily, there were rumors that Kenan himself was going to sign for [FC Barcelona] and we let everyone believe it for a while.”

Smoke, mirrors, and subterfuge. In the end it worked out for all parties: Bayern got its man in De Ligt— some €80m still regarded as a cool bargain for the superstar center-back — while Juventus got the young attacking midfield prodigy Bayern wasn’t able to retain anyway.

Looking for more thoughts and analysis on Germany’s disastrous international break? Check out our Bavarian Podcast Works — Weekend Warm-up Show on Spotify or below:

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