Juventus have announced the signing of Santos teenager Kaio Jorge on a long-term contract until 2026 in a deal believed to be worth around €3m plus add-ons.
Kaio, who won’t turn 20 until January, has emerged from the same Santos youth system that produced Neymar. He made his senior debut in 2018, becoming one of the youngest players in Santos history, and established himself as a regular in 2020.
The Brazilian forward has been handed Juve’s number 21 shirt, previously made famous by the likes of Zinedine Zidane, Andrea Pirlo and Lilian Thuram, and most recently worn by Gonzalo Higuain.
Kaio has represented Brazil at junior international level and was part of the squad that won the Under-17 World Cup in 2019, scoring five times at the tournament.
It has been reported that Juve will pay Santos an initial €1.5m for Kaio, followed by a second payment of another €1.5m next summer. The deal is also thought to include an extra €1m in bonuses dependent on his performances for the Serie A club.
Kaio is so far Juve’s only new first-team arrival in an otherwise quiet summer. The only major outgoing transfer has seen Douglas Costa return from a loan at Bayern Munich and immediately head out on loan again to join Gremio back in his native Brazil, although a deal for Sassuolo’s Manuel Locatelli is imminent.
Despite minimal personnel changes, returning head coach Massimiliano Allegri is tasked with bringing the Serie A title back to Turin after Juve slumped to fourth last season and only narrowly avoided the disaster of missing out on Champions League football.
Juve will begin their 2021/22 league campaign away at Udinese on 22 August but enjoyed a statement 3-1 win over Atalanta in a friendly last weekend.