US midfielder McKennie swaps Schalke for Juventus

Weston McKennie has joined Juventus on a season-long loan from Schalke and will become the first American to play for the Italian champions, the Serie A club announced on Saturday.

McKennie, 22, will move to Turin for an initial fee of 4.5 million euros (5.4 million), Juventus said in a statement.

The deal includes an obligation for Juventus to buy the midfielder for 18.5 million euros if certain targets are met this season.

The US international spent four years in Germany and made 91 appearances for Schalke, but the Bundesliga club found itself in a perilous financial situation after the coronavirus pandemic.

"Obviously deciding to let go one of our most talented players like Weston is partly down to the financial state the club is in," said Schalke's head of sport Jochen Schneider.

"We would like to thank Weston for his outstanding performances and wish him all the best for his time at Juventus."

Texas-born McKennie was one of many American sports stars to add his voice to the widespread protests over the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man killed during a police arrest in Minneapolis.

McKennie wore a "Justice for George" armband in Schalke's first game following Floyd's death in May. He also criticised Donald Trump for his behaviour in the aftermath and accused the US president of being "racist".