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Juventus close in on signing of Velez starlet Soule

12:30 AM SGT 24/10/19
Matias Soule Argentina
The 16-year-old forward has been linked with a number of top clubs around Europe, but the Serie A champions are in pole position to complete the move

Juventus are close to completing the signing of 16-year-old forward Matias Soule from Argentine side Velez Sarsfield, Goal can confirm.

Soule has been monitored by a number of top clubs around Europe and, while there are still some issues to be ironed out, the Serie A champions are in pole position to secure his signature.

An EU passport will need to be organised, but the club have been given the go-ahead by Soule’s family to finalise all the relevant details. His family are set to travel to Italy as the deal nears completion.

If the signing goes through as planned, Soule would likely start out with Juventus’ ‘Primavera’ squad, the club’s Under-19s.

Soule has, like many Argentinian starlets, been likened to Lionel Messi in the past and Barcelona are one of the clubs he has been linked with in the media. The two Madrid sides, Real and Atletico, had also been mentioned as potential destinations but Juve are confident of getting the deal done.

The move could signal a change in tack for Juventus’ transfer strategy, after a period of significant investment in their first-team squad.

While they have continued to utilise impressive free transfers with the likes of Aaron Ramsey and Adrien Rabiot brought in for free over the summer, Juve have spent big in the last two years on players such as Cristiano Ronaldo and Matthijs de Ligt.

Juventus have gone close in Europe more than once in recent seasons, reaching the Champions League final in 2015 and 2017, and Maurizio Sarri’s squad is one which will once again be expected to challenge for a trophy which Juve haven’t won since 1996.

Soule is still a member of Velez’ U20 squad, and is yet to make a first-team appearance for the club, but he is thought to be ready to make the switch to Europe. Current Velez manager Gabriel Heinze spent 15 years in Europe, including one season in Italy with Roma, and could prove a useful contact in helping the youngster adapt to his potential new surroundings.

Some of the more notable players to have come through the Velez youth system include Nicolas Otamendi and Mauro Zarate, as well as managers Diego Simeone and Mauricio Pellegrino.