Much in the same fashion as the Cristiano Ronaldo rumors, talk of Leonardo Bonucci returning to Juventus has come out of nowhere and then built itself into a full-on blaze of fury within the span of a few short days.
And it doesn’t look like it’s about to die down, either.
According to Sky Italia, Juventus and Milan have agreed in principle to a swap deal that would have Bonucci come back to Turin after a year at the San Siro. In return, young Juve center back Mattia Caldara — yes, the same Caldara many of us are fawning over the last few months — would head to Milan. Same goes for Gonzalo Higuain on, according to Sky, will be a very expensive loan deal.
#UltimOra #Mercato ‼— Sky Sport (@SkySport) July 27, 2018
✅ #Milan, principio di accordo con la #Juventus
Scambio alla pari #Bonucci-#Caldara
#Higuain arriverebbe in prestito oneroso
Si continua a lavorare per trovare un accordo#SkyCalciomercato #SkySport
With that, let the outrage begin.
Higuain loan move aside — one that La Gazzetta Sport is saying that could be worth €15 million this summer with an obligation to buy next year — this is more about swapping Bonucci and Caldara more than anything else.
Juventus’ objectives clearly changed when they went out and got Ronaldo. It’s a win-now mode in the Champions League more than ever before. More than when they went out and got Carlos Tevez and made the Champions League final. More than when they signed Higuain for a then-club-record €90 million two years ago and advanced to the Champions League final. Beppe Marotta, Fabio Paratici and Andrea Agnelli have obviously shifted their focus from winning in the present but also looking at the future to now putting their pretty much all of their eggs in present-day European success.
Re-acquiring Bonucci, who was easily one of the best defenders in the world when he left Juventus, is another sign of that.
But if this deal does come to fruition and we’re watching one of Juve’s two talented young central defenders head to Milan in exchange for the guy who chose to leave Turin 12 months ago, it’s become even that much more evident that it’s Champions League or bust.
It also means that Juventus are banking on Juve Leonardo showing its face once again rather than Milan Leonardo, one that struggled with his form for much of the 2017-18 season, showing its face in Turin.