Gabon's Mario Lemina signs permanent Juventus deal

By Oluwashina OkelejiBBC Sport
Mario Lemina
Gabon midfielder Mario Lemina has made 11 appearances for Juventus and has scored twice

Italian giants Juventus have signed Gabon midfielder Mario Lemina on a permanent deal from Olympique Marseille.

The 22-year-old, who initially joined the Bianconeri on a season-long loan in August, was snapped up for $10.9m on a four-year deal, according to the Serie A champions.external-link

"The fee could rise by an additional €1 million, depending on whether he meets "performance-related targets," the club added.

Lemina, who has made 11 appearances and scored twice for the Italians, has impressed the club during his time there.

"Over the course of his year with Juventus, Mario has developed into a multi-talented midfielder, able to launch attacks with the same level of excellence with which he defends, qualities that will continue to make him a highly valuable member of the Bianconeri midfield in the future," the Serie A outfit said.

Lemina began his professional career at Lorient and spent eight years at the French club.

He left Lorient and signed a five-year deal with Marseille in August 2013 and scored twice in 50 appearances for the club before switching to Juventus on loan with an option to buy.

Lemina had initially rejected a call-up to Gabon's 2015 Africa Cup of Nations squad in the hope he would be selected to play for France instead.

But the France Under-20 World Cup winner switched his international allegiance to the country of his birth last September.

He has made five appearances for the Panthers and scored on his debut in 3-3 friendly draw against Tunisia in October 2015.

Gabon will host the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations - only five years after they were co-hosts with Equatorial Guinea.