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02nd Aug 2018

Leonardo Bonucci moves back to Juventus in three player deal

The news has been confirmed by Juventus manager Max Allegri

Kyle Picknell

Chiellini and Bonucci are back together again

Juventus have brought back former defender Leonardo Bonucci a single season after they sold him to historical rivals AC Milan for €42 million (£37 million).

The defender rejoins the club in a deal that sees striker Gonzalo Higuain, who scored 16 Serie A goals last season for the Bianconeri, move the other way on loan with an option to buy.

Juventus defender Mattia Caldara will also move permanently to the Rossoneri without making a single first-team appearance. He was purchased from Atlanta by the Turin club for an initial €15 million but spent his first season remaining at his original club on loan where he continued to impress as they finished 7th in the league.

The 24-year-old is an extremely capable defender – excellent in the air, quick and powerful – and will suit the younger Milan team as they continue rebuilding. Alongside Alessio Romagnoli and Gianluigi Donnarumma, he could well become part of an impressive Italian defensive unit for the next decade or so in a similar manner to Buffon, Chiellini, Bonucci and Barzagli.

Despite this taking back the ageing Bonucci, who started the season sluggishly for his new team after taking the captain’s armband before regaining form, makes sense for a club competing for an eighth straight Serie A title.

Ronaldo will undoubtedly expect to trophies during his time at Juventus, and swapping Caldara, a player who will continue to improve over the next few years, for Bonucci makes sense in the short term.

Juve boss Max Allegri confirmed the news to Sky Sports Italy early this morning after the team’s friendly against the MLS All-Stars, which they drew 1-1 and won 5-3 on penalties.

Allegri said “Leo Bonucci returns to us after a year, he’s an important player.”

Higuain is reportedly joining Milan on a one-year loan with the option to buy. According to ESPN, multiple sources in Italy have confirmed that the initial loan will cost €18 million (£16 million), with a further €36 million (£32 million) required to make the move permanent.

The Argentine arrived in the Italian city on Wednesday night and should complete his medical and officially sign for the club at some point later today. He told reporters: “It’s great to see so many fans, but I also want to send greetings to those of Juventus who have given me so much affection. Tomorrow, I’ll do the [medical] and then I hope to sign… We hope to go as far as possible.”

An agreement between the two clubs is expected to cover all three transfers in one move.

Football fans will just be said to see Leonard Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini, two men who love defending more than life itself, reunited once again.