ITALIAN side Torino has bought Super Eagles fullback Ola Aina from Chelsea for €10m in a deal thought to be for four years exercising an option to purchase him outright after the player spent the last season in Italy on loan.
Aina, 22, joined Chelsea as an 11-year old and has featured for the England youth teams right through from the under 16 to under 20 squads. In 2017, however, he pledged his future to Nigeria and is now a permanent feature of the Super Eagles, for who he is expected to be s starter at this summer’s African nations Cup taking place in Egypt.
Last season, Torino signed Aina on loan and while in Italy, the versatile defender enjoyed an impressive spell, making 30 Serie A appearances, 22 of which were starts and provided three assists. Impressed with his performance, Torino have now exercised the option to sign Aina, who signed a new four-year contract at Stamford Bridge prior to his loan move to Italy.
Torino president Urbano Cairo confirmed that the club has taken advantage of a purchase option to sign the Super Eagles star on a permanent deal. With the signing, Aina becomes the most expensive Nigerian fullback in history, breaking the previous record held by Celestine Babayaro, who was bought by Chelsea for £2.25m in 1997.
Mr Cairo said: ”We’ve redeemed Aina for €10m, as well as Cristian Ansaldi, and Koffi Djidji. Now Torino own all their players.”
Aina is currently in the Super Eagles camp getting set for 2019 African Cup of Nations in Egypt, where he is expected to lock down the rightback position. It is not yet clear if Chelsea have inserted a buyback clause in the contract with Torino.