With the threat of a loss of European football and ownership that was seemingly insolvent, there have been plenty of rumors that AC Milan captain Leonardo Bonucci would be leaving the San Siro with destinations such as PSG and Manchester United mentioned.
While no player is “off-limits” these days, as shown by Neymar’s transfer from Barcelona to PSG last summer and this year’s transfer of Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid to Juventus, Bonucci is a player that Milan needs to keep if they are going to have a successful campaign.
Leonardo Bonucci might be 31 years-old and getting near the end of his career, but he’s still a valuable leader for the Milan team. Gennaro Gattuso seems to trust the defender to communicate his plans on the pitch.
If anything needs to change at Milan next season, it certainly shouldn’t be the defense. Milan were just fine on the defensive end of the pitch after Gattuso took over the team, and Bonucci was a large part of that. The midfield needs improving, but selling a valuable team member as Bonucci to afford new signings would be a mistake. You don’t stop a fire in your kitchen by burning your house down.
Sky: Agent of #ACMilan trio Leonardo Bonucci, Suso & Andrea Bertolacci and ex-#Fiorentina man Milan Badelj arrives at Milanello for talks https://t.co/K21PG1unVc #PSG #CFC #ASRoma #CRO pic.twitter.com/9aC6TcoMGw— footballitalia (@footballitalia) July 13, 2018
There have been worrying rumors about Bonucci potentially being on the move to various other teams outside of Serie A, and his agent visited Milanello yesterday for talks with Marco Fassone and Massimiliano Mirabelli. That’s not a great sign, but the agent has many clients, including Suso and former Fiorentina midfielder Milan Badelj. Badelj is currently without a club, and while he might not be a big name, the club seems to be going after players out of contract right now.
There have also been reports that Milan are open to Bonucci leaving “if he wants to go” which is a total cop-out by the club if they are true. This seems like laying the groundwork to blame Bonucci if he is sold by Mirabelli. It’s rather unprofessional to trash players on their way out the door, and even worse to plan to sell a player and set it up by saying “he wanted to go” while negotiating a large transfer sum for the player. Public transfer sagas, like Riyad Mahrez’s with Leicester City back in January, make both the player and the club look terrible and it only hurts the reputation of the club in the eyes of fans and potential recruits.
Hopefully with a more stable financial situation, Milan can convince Bonucci to stay at the San Siro for at least another year while the club sees if it can become Milan again. Bonucci made huge headlines leaving Juventus for Milan, and it would be disappointing to sell him on to PSG or Manchester United after only one season.