We sat here eight days ago and first read of rumors linking Leonardo Bonucci with a shock return to Juventus. A lot like the first batch of Cristiano Ronaldo rumors, it was easy to laugh them off because this summer is impossible to figure out what is true and what is just complete B.S. in the transfer market.
On the final day of July, one week after that first wave of Bonucci-back-to-Juve rumors came to be, every single sign points to Juve’s former No. 19 coming back to Turin.
Looks like Mattia Perin might be in search of a new number all of two friendlies into his turn as the guy who wears No. 19 in bianconero.
According to a wide range of media outlets in Italy, the final step needed in the rumored Bonucci-Mattia Caldara-Gonzalo Higuain swap deal has been agreed upon. That involved Higuain and his brother/agent being convinced that the loan move isn’t just a one-off deal where he will be spending all of about nine or 10 months in Milan before being shipped off elsewhere. Higuain’s brother, according to a report from Gianluca Di Marzio on Tuesday morning, has met with new Milan sporting director Leonardo and come to a resolution on the loan deal that involves some significant Financial Fair Play components.
In case you’re wondering where we’re getting this from, Sky Sport Italia’s small herd of transfer reporters have all said that it’s about as close to being done as a done deal gets before it’s announced as being official.
Ci siamo ormai per @G_Higuain al @acmilan e il maxi scambio con @bonucci_leo19 e #Caldara. Oggi la @juventusfc incontra a Milano tutte le parti in causa per definire i dettagli dell’intesa totale #calciomercato @SkySport— Gianluca Di Marzio (@DiMarzio) July 31, 2018
⚽️ Milan, Higuain is getting closer to AC Milan! The deal will be completed soon: Leonardo Bonucci to Juventus, Higuain and Caldara to AC Milan ⚫️⚪️— Mario Giunta (@MarioGiunta) July 31, 2018
So, if you didn’t think it was bound to happen before, it’s pretty safe to say that it’s only a matter of time before Caldara is on his way back to Italy a little earlier than he probably expected while Bonucci is arriving in Turin to what will likely be a very mixed reception.
A report Monday evening from Romeo Agresti suggested that Caldara and Bonucci will have the same €40 million valuation, while Higuain’s loan deal will be an initial €18 million fee with a buy clause of €36 million next summer. Seeing as the rumored price tag we’ve been hearing for Higuain all summer has been around €55 million and €60 million, that pretty much falls right into place.
And once Ronaldo showed up, Higuain became expandable, but the market outside of a potential move to Chelsea or Milan never really materialized.
One more thing: If you were thinking that maybe Beppe Marotta would get creative with this deal no matter how much a lot of us dislike it and get some kind of buyback clause into the Caldara aspect of the deal, think again.
Non è prevista alcuna clausola di recompra per Caldara con la Juventus #calciomercato— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) July 31, 2018
Nope, no buyback clause happening here, folks. Of course. Juventus aren’t dealing with Udinese or Bologna here. Nah, no matter what Milan’s table location the last few years have told us, they’re not a mid-table team in terms of the business they want to do.
This deal just looks great, doesn’t it? (Well, for one team it does — and that team ain’t Juventus.)
At least Cristiano Ronaldo showed up for training today, so there’s that.