Leonardo Bonucci has been linked with a move away from AC Milan for a few weeks now, and the clearest sign that Bonucci might be moving away from the club came today. He was rumored to have put in a transfer request at the club about a week ago, and now it seems like Bonucci’s time at the San Siro is up.
Not only were their reports in Italy saying that Bonucci’s agent had met with Juventus, Gennaro Gattuso seemed to confront the issue directly at a news conference in Los Angeles ahead of the ICC match against Manchester United.
Gattuso: “I spoke with Leo and I have to be honest and say it like it is. Leo had a confrontation with me, but I’m not the club and [he] needs to speak with the directors.”— TheMilanBible (@TheMilanBible) July 24, 2018
Gattuso: "When a player expresses a desire the coach must do everything to convince him to stay, but there are pros and cons. If you ask for something explicitly we have to sit down and handle the matter in a correct and serious way."— Milan Eye (@MilanEye) July 24, 2018
Milan is reportedly interested in Juventus striker Gonzalo Higuain and it’s also being reported that any deal involving Bonucci’s return to Juventus would also involve Higuain going in the other direction.
Bonucci has been strongly linked with a move to Paris Saint-Germain in the past few weeks. He’s also been rumored to be on the radar for both Manchester United and Manchester City. Gattuso already made statements that sounded like he thought that Bonucci was on the way out the door at Milan, but the statements at the latest press conference are the strongest indicator that the rumors are true.
If Bonucci wants to leave, then so be it. He’d be a valuable member of this young team, but if the club keeps him against his will, then it could quickly become a distraction that this team doesn’t need right now.
It is interesting to see that many of the high-profile transfers that were brought into the club during last season’s summer transfer window appear to be on their way back out of the club. Nikola Kalinic seems to be headed to Spain, and André Silva’s name is linked with a move to Wolverhampton to join the Portuguese revolution in the Black Country. Even Massimiliano Mirabelli’s time at the club might be up after Marco Fassone was let go over the weekend.
Will all this change leave Milan in a better place than it was before the start of the summer? Hard to tell right now, but there will be very little room for error with a squad that hasn’t seen anyone come in except for out of contract players. This might all turn out okay, but that’s not a given. At least the new ownership can’t be any worse than the last, right?