Saturday July 15 2017
Bemused by Bonucci

From utterly implausible rumour to reality within 48 hours, Susy Campanale can't get her head round Leonardo Bonucci's move to Milan.

Now we’ve seen it all. Leonardo Bonucci, that icon of Juventus DNA, he who urged others to wash their mouths out before talking about the Bianconeri, the man who resisted the calls of Antonio Conte at Chelsea and Pep Guardiola at Manchester City, one of the ever-presents in the six-year Scudetto run, has joined Milan. What’s more, this story went from seemingly ludicrous summer rumour to reality in around 48 hours. We can never again comfortably say that a transfer story is impossible, because we’ve already seen the most implausible situation come to life.

I have supported Milan for decades and people ask me why I’m not jumping for joy at this spending spree. Up until now, it has been because I am concerned that putting a lot of great players together does not necessarily make a team (see any Inter outfit in the last seven years for proof) and there doesn’t appear to be a huge amount of thought going into the shape of Vincenzo Montella’s side. The amount of money ploughed in also puts immense pressure on players, Coach and club, the kind that can lead to hasty decisions and constant tinkering (again, see Inter).

Why am I not celebrating Bonucci’s arrival? Mainly, I am in shock. Milanisti are accustomed to nasty surprises on the transfer market, not good ones. We tend to get someone several years past his prime who is available on loan or with a free transfer. When money is spent, it’s usually quite badly, on the likes of Jose Ernesto Sosa or Andrea Bertolacci.

Above all, I am stunned by Bonucci’s decision. Why leave the most successful side in Italy for one of their bitter rivals who have showered you in insults over the years? I always thought if he did quit Juve for a new challenge, it’d be in the Premier League or La Liga, somewhere he could really stretch his legs and teach everyone around him the art of defending. Milan just doesn’t make sense as a move for him. Aged 30, he is in his prime, and only getting better every year. His precision passing skills mean he could easily move further up the pitch later on for an Andrea Pirlo-esque role as deep-lying playmaker.

Bonucci is leaving all his certainties behind to embrace a new project that still doesn’t have a clear identity. It’s a massive risk to be taking and that may well be the biggest motivator of all. Staying at Juventus just to target the Champions League would’ve felt a little futile, as that is such a small part of the season. He can help instil a new mentality at Milan and become a leader, or rather THE leader, because at Juve there were so many strong voices that any clash felt like when Thor slammed his hammer on to Captain America’s shield – it’s a draw, but one that destroys everything around the two protagonists. Milan’s last captain was Riccardo Montolivo. I need say no more.

Quite clearly, the €42m price-tag also means Juventus wanted rid of their most important defender. They could've charged a Premier League club double that sum, but Bonucci evidently demanded the transfer. I do genuinely believe the rumours it was his agent who proposed the idea to Milan directors, because no other Serie A side would even consider asking for Bonucci. Poaching the best talent from the opposition is Juve's schtick.

If Montella also gets his star centre-forward, for example Andrea Belotti, will I then say that Milan are Scudetto favourites? No. At least, not yet. Next year it’s very possible, but over the summer so many teams have completely revamped or changed key figures, there is going to be a great deal of inconsistency, especially in the early months. Napoli have retained all their elements and are well-drilled in Maurizio Sarri’s tactics. I think Juve will miss Bonucci immensely and the murky circumstances behind his departure suggest serious tension in that locker room. 

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Have your say...

That's a great point.

@Juventini since 90's;

I don't get it? Comparing him to Baresi, Cannavaro and Nesta...3 of the top 10 CB's in the history of football. That's not the critique you seem to think it is.

Besides, it's precisely IN the back 4 where he became a world-class player. It's there where his excellence as a defender was finally evident. I don't merely disagree; the fact is that you're wrong.
on the 18th July, 2017 at 3:07am
I never liked Bonucci for more than his grinta, he is mediocre at best. Finally we got rid of him, and I couldn't be happier. It is a really bad joke to call him best in the world with the defensive skills he displayed at the UCL-final.
on the 17th July, 2017 at 4:30pm
@Maldini's Heir This is a good theory, it would also explain the Kessie and potential Renato deal of a 2 year delayed payment as F&M may be planning for a transfer ban for next year so are planning for the year after. I think they realised that the rot with the squad was so deep that we would have to inevitably endure a penalty at some point as this excessive spending needed to happen. Personally idm if this is the case and trust F&M and Li.
on the 17th July, 2017 at 3:27pm
I havent had an issue with the sale. It was for his family to stay in Italia. He wasnt popular in the room and needed to go. We have the next two young defenders who'll be Italia's pairing for tournaments to come. Juve are still far better overall then any other serie a teams, and that doesnt inckudng closingbdeals for Schick and Bernardeschi. Mercato a long way from done.
on the 17th July, 2017 at 1:01pm
I think he's the best central defender in the world. He makes us weaker and makes Milan much stronger. However he is not bigger than the club and if his influence on the dressing room is that negative, Juve had no option but to sell and if he only wanted Milan then so be it, rather them than inter. Hopefully Juve won't buy someone just for the hell of it, I hope they give Rugani a chance and to learn off players like Barzagli and Chiellini. it'll certainly make Serie A better and that is gr8
on the 17th July, 2017 at 9:55am
Someone explain to me ho we are expected to win the UCL by selling our best player (Vidal, Pogba, Bonucci) every summer
on the 17th July, 2017 at 9:28am
@maldini's heir thats is atheory that just made sense to me right nw too...milan are building the dam nw for the inevitable flood that will sweep as much as iam happy we bought him and i believe he's one of tye best out there i still think no player is bigger than the club and i am skeptical of the fact that this same fracas might happen in latter years with milan too..i hope to God we exceed expectations this season..forza milan
on the 17th July, 2017 at 8:24am
I said I wouldn't speculate anymore but here I am. I've got a theory. I reckon milan are going all out this transfer window because they know they're going to get hit by FFP penalties and could face a transfer embargo. So they basically want a title challenging side that they may be stuck with for a few transfer windows. I don't actually think that is a bad idea. Whatever the outcome it would be good to end up with a team that will actually stay together for a few years.
on the 17th July, 2017 at 2:20am

Would rather losing bonucci than higuain lol
on the 16th July, 2017 at 9:39pm
Milan or Napoli should also try and go for Marchisio as it cannot be easy for him to be playing second fiddle to a player with limited ability in Khedira. Considering this is a world cup year try and test Juventus' resolve by bidding for players of that ilk
on the 16th July, 2017 at 6:04pm
The 1 question that noone has asked on here is why a side like Napoli did not go for him? They should have sensed the discontent at Juventus involving Bonucci and gone in for the kill. This would have made Napoli real favorites for the scudetto. Too many question marks at Milan to count them as scudetto faves not least their choice of manager. I do not even know what is going on at Roma. Oh Barzagli came out to support Leo not that it matters as public shows or lack of are dubious
on the 16th July, 2017 at 5:59pm
He realized that to win th CL he must go to AC Milan (I'm a fan of Inter) because with Juventus they can only win the scudetto.
on the 16th July, 2017 at 5:55pm
A fantastic buy for Milan. I hope Milan get Belotti next and the we are complete. Well i say complete hesitantly, i dont think Montella is up for the job but with all this activity on the market from Milan i guess he has nothing to hide behind if he messes up.
on the 16th July, 2017 at 5:11pm
@OhSusyQ oh, misread your comment, you're an interista, explains the unhealthy obsession with Juve. I suppose if I was an interista I'd probably still be having nightmares about 5 maggio too, though. If Bonucci has 'black-and-blue DNA' that explains a lot too, like the shouting match with Allegri and subsequent sulking and blaming his teammates for the CL final loss when he was one of the worst on the pitch himself.
on the 16th July, 2017 at 4:16pm
@OhSusyQ not displaying the same level of bias you would if you had a blog on a calcio site doesn't make Susy a closet Juve fan. Some people are completely ridiculous, people have been whining for years about Susy being too biased towards Milan, but apparently for Milanisti themselves she's not biased enough. Better stick to reading your own diaries, because nobody else is going to please you.
on the 16th July, 2017 at 4:11pm
"Leonardo Bonucci, that icon of Juventus DNA" these kind of statements are so frustrating just smacks of how short sighted football is these days. The one club man seems to be a dead concept so lets accept a player is emotionally tethered to the richest club that brought him. It is as frustrating to see juve fans complain about bonucci signing for milan but advocating bernardeschi signing from a club which despise juve. It not like juve have a bad academy either just no patience.
on the 16th July, 2017 at 2:58pm
Susy you are not a Milan fan, you are a Buventina through and through, all of us who have been reading since day 1 know this. Further proof is in this article by not supporting your team for pulling of the impossible. You speak with more passion about Buve than you do Milan. "(see inter)", yeah see inter win the Champions League again before Buve, and see footage of the treble, you know the one your real team failed to reproduce? 9 finals, 2 wins, pathetic.
on the 16th July, 2017 at 1:57pm
First sentence, "the icon of Juventus DNA", stopped reading after that. His DNA is 100% Black & Blue, as he came up and was instilled with values, and footballing prowess in the Inter youth academy. Naturally because of this "DNA' the relationship with Rubentus was destined to have an ugly end.
on the 16th July, 2017 at 1:53pm
Clearly he is looking to win The Champions League...

on the 16th July, 2017 at 1:49pm
He is an awesome player but no man should ever be greater than a club. It is very telling that after all these years only Buffon publicly thanked him from the squad, doesn't appear he was well liked and if removing him makes the team happier and perform better then that's a good thing. I suspect this is also why Alves was asked to find another club.
on the 16th July, 2017 at 11:24am
Funny how you fans class him now as not being up to Barzagli and Chiellini , but the world thinks different. Well he was kind of benching Barzagli and with all due respect to how World class both Barzagli and Chiellini are, they are not getting any younger(especially chiellini seems to get injured more often than not) They will be huge pressure on Juventus defence next season, if they don't look solid, what do you think people will point to?
on the 16th July, 2017 at 10:38am
As a die hard Juve fans, believe me when I say we will miss Leo offensively rather than defensively. Defensive wise, tbh he was never in the league of great Italy CBs such as Baresi, Cannavaro&Nesta,especially in back 4 formation. If there's Italian CB that was almost there, it is Chiello(he was always assigned to mark both Juve&Nazionale opponent's best forward,not Leo). But after Pirlo's departure, Leo's passing game has helped bridge the backline & frontline (Marchisio&Pjanic not that good)
on the 16th July, 2017 at 4:35am
You don't have to worry about Inter's FFP...

And Milan will probably sell a 100 million plastic souvenirs on streets of China and break even...

The cost of the player for FFP is the (transfer fee divided by contract length) + wages... if Milan spent £200 million, assuming 5 year contracts for everyone, that's £40m this year (and wages they have to pay any way) and they can make that in one or two sales, Bacca (who, poor guy, didn't get good service and is a scapegoat) and cancelling contracts.
on the 15th July, 2017 at 10:38pm
Bonucci. Great defender, great ball player, but if he is not 100% committed Juve are correct to let him go. It will be great for the entire Serie A next season to also have a competitive Inter and Milano. Maybe with five competitive sides the league will become attractive again.

I just worry for the Milan sides if they can't finish top 4 with FFP
on the 15th July, 2017 at 8:35pm

I've seen you on the board over years, and you're always this...well, you. Not a good look. Not really a Milan fan either, but I do like Milan.

People like me propping Ramos and Pepe? You certainly don't pay attention to any of my posts.


Romagnoli better than the "overrated" Rugani? You sound like what you're criticizing. Good for you.
on the 15th July, 2017 at 5:46pm
Susy, I'm with you. This move blew my mind. It seems as though the impossible has happened! I always pictured Bonucci moving to Chelsea or Spain, but not Milan! I'd love to know the truth from his mouth. Anyhow, seems like a good time for Rugani to step up.
on the 15th July, 2017 at 5:38pm
@Maldini's Heir I never thought I'd see the day that you were happy with our mercato, exciting times ahead eh.

Look at these Rube fans, the same ones who sang Leo's praises for the past 6 years now calling him rubbish and past it. He's better than old man Barzagli and elbows Chiellini. He's now next to the future of Italian defence in Romag, not that overrated Rugani. Juve fans are obviously scared and they should be. Leo wants to win the UCL and he's come to the right place.

Milan > Juve
on the 15th July, 2017 at 4:39pm
30 is nothing for a centre back like Bonucci but you won't see the same player at Milan. A centre back is as good as his left and right backs so it remains to be seen how he does at Milan. Should have moved abroad however. His family didn't want to move abroad but did they really think they would be spared the vitriol? Now they have half of Italy hating them wherever they go. Abroad, they could have new experience, live like millionaires,return to Italy after 4 years and everyone still loves you
on the 15th July, 2017 at 3:46pm
@ Me

It's funny how Bonucci now is the best defender in the world. And it's even funnier of a thick head to say: "Barzagli is never better than Bonucci. Chiellini maybe was".

BBC are the best defenders in the world: Yes. However, Leo's never been to Barzagli or Chiellini leagues, not to take anything from him though.

Just last year, people like you were saying Clowns and Media hyped-ups like Ramos, Pepe, Silva were the best defenders. But now BOOM, because he's in your team.
on the 15th July, 2017 at 3:31pm
What an incredible signing! Bonucci in the heart of defence wearing the captain's armband in the red and black shirt. It's an irresistible image isn't it? Milan has it's leader, it's beating heart. A leader with immense quality and a fierce winning mentality.

There's no way anyone can spin this. This is terrible for Juve and incredible for Milan.

We're in for a real treat this season
on the 15th July, 2017 at 3:10pm

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