AC Milan complete major coup in signing Leonardo Bonucci from Serie A rivals Juventus
AC Milan have completed a major coup in signing Juventus and Italy star Leonardo Bonucci from Serie A rivals Juventus for a fee of €40 million (£35.2m).
The 30 year old joins on a five-year deal and has immediately been named as the new club captain. Bonucci’s sale from Juventus emerged as a possibility when stories of he and manager Max Allegri falling out began to surface. Against Palermo last season, Allegri and Bonucci traded insults during the match which led to the latter being dropped to the bench for Juve’s crucial Champions League match against Porto.
Reportedly, the final straw for Allegri came during last season’s Champions League final. Gonzalo Higuain recently spilled the beans on a dressing room fallout involving two summer departees Dani Alves and Bonucci. The Argentine claimed that Alves’s boisterous actions, blaring music around the room whilst the club trailed against Real Madrid, led to a hot-headed Bonucci confronting the Brazilian, which manager Max Allegri had to himself split up.
Nonetheless, AC Milan look to have bagged themselves a winner. The 30 year old has won 70 caps for Italy, along with 12 trophies in his time in Turin, including six Serie A titles in a row. Individual recognitions include two Serie A Team of the Year spots (14/15, 15/16), Serie A Footballer of the Year (15/16), a UEFA Team of the Year place (2016) and a spot in last season’s UEFA Champions League Team of the Season.
Following the move, AC Milan have been cut from 16/1 with most bookmakers to, as short as, 6/1 for Serie A glory. You can still get a price of 10/1 with William Hill on Milan capturing their first title since 10/11, while Bonucci’s former suitor Juventus have drafted out slightly in the market.
Milan’s swoop for Bonucci is Vincenzo Montella’s ninth first team signing this season, following their takeover from Chinese businessman Li Yonghong in April. The Rossoneri had already signed Mateo Musacchio, Ricardo Rodriguez, Andre Silva, Hakan Calhanoglu an Andrea Conti in big money permanent deals. Antonio Donnarumma, brother of wonderkid Gianluigi, also joined on a four year deal from Asteras Tripolis in Greece, whilst Franck Kessie and Fabio Borini joined on loan from Atalanta and Sunderland respectively, with obligations to buy included in the deals.
The Rossoneri’s spending increased to a reported €187.5m shortly after Bonucci’s signing as Montella completed the signing of long-term target Lucas Biglia from Lazio. Milan have shown no signs of stopping anytime soon either, with Torino forward Andrea Belotti and Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata on their shortlist as they bid to sign an elite, proven goalscorer to increase their title credentials.