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Reports: Leo Bonucci in talks with Union Berlin, not Fiorentina, over potential move (UPDATED)

Excuse me?

Juventus Medical Tests Photo by Stefano Guidi/Getty Images

For weeks now, Leonardo Bonucci has been part of the group of players that is still very much wearing Juventus’ new training gear but doing so off to the side since they’re not part of the main group. To say that it’s a bit of an awkward situation for the 36-year-old defender and club captain who has already announced that the 2023-24 season will be his last is a bit of an understatement.

Even with that, there appears to be one concrete out.

Sunday started with rumors that Bonucci is in talks with one of Juventus’ rivals, Fiorentina, over a potential move, La Viola didn’t wait long to shoot them down, with director Daniele Prade saying that no talks between the former Bianconeri captain and his club have taken place. (So much for a breakfast to talk about a transfer, I guess.) Despite that, there now appears to be an option out there for Bonucci, as Bundesliga side Union Berlin — one of the biggest surprises in all of Europe last season — are in talks to sign the veteran Italian center back, according to Sky Italia’s Gianluca Di Marzio.

Di Marzio says that Bonucci is open to the move and that there has been positive contacts between the two sides, who now need to work out details to see if a transfer can happen.

Fiorentina’s reported interest in Bonucci before they came out and denied had been confirmed by multiple sources, including Goal Italia’s Romeo Agresti.

Bonucci has been frozen out of Juve’s squad ever since the start of preseason training began, with his attempts to get back into the first team coming up empty on multiple attempts, even with the former captain reportedly filing legal documentation to try and reverse course so that he can finish his career in Turin.

Union Berlin finished fourth in the Bundesliga last season and will be playing in the Champions League come the fall. Considering that Bonucci is out of Juventus’ plans — and wouldn’t be playing in Europe even if he was part of the squad — going somewhere like Union where European football is happening could be his way to try and maintain his spot in the Italy squad ahead of next summer’s Euros. (Although, with Roberto Mancini stepping down Sunday, that spot could very well be up in the air more than ever before.)

It’s clear, no matter where Bonucci ends up, that he has come to the reality that his final year as a professional footballer won’t be at the club he has spent all but one season at since 2010. Juventus are trying to move on from Bonucci and begin to fix the mistakes of the past, and that is something that doesn’t involve the guy who was named captain after his friend Giorgio Chiellini decided to head to Los Angeles.