Tuesday July 31 2018
Should Juventus take Bonucci back?

Juventus should think twice about swapping Mattia Caldara for Leonardo Bonucci, writes Anthony Barbagallo.

While Juventus have been keeping active in this summer transfer window rebuilding a new-look side for the future, it appears a return for Leonardo Bonucci is very much in the pipeline. But is it worth Juve giving up Mattia Caldara - one of Italy’s brightest prospects - to re-sign a 31-year-old defender?

Bonucci stunned Juve before the start of last season by joining Serie A rivals AC Milan for a fee of €42 million, this left a bitter taste in the mouths of many Bianconeri. The departure came as a shock after the centre-back played a pivotal role in the core of the Juventus defence for seven years - helping win six consecutive Serie A Scudetti, three Coppa Italia titles and reaching two Champions League finals in three years.

But since the 4-1 loss to Real Madrid last year, the reported halftime bust-up in the final between Bonucci and some of his former teammates only dampened his relationship with the club. If the Old Lady is to re-sign Bonucci, the relationship between the defender, team, Coach and the club’s fans may still be fragile.

Moving to San Siro to transform Milan as Andrea Pirlo had done when moving the other way, the past season didn’t pan out how the Rossoneri captain had envisaged. Milan finished in sixth place in Serie A, crashed out to Arsenal in the Last 16 of the Europa League and ownership problems were brewing behind the scenes.

Set against that backdrop it’s not difficult to comprehend why Bonucci wants a return to Turin. The 2016 Serie A Footballer of the Year wants to be back competing on the domestic and Champions League stages and is even willing to accept a pay cut. However, the Caldara-Bonucci swap doesn’t seem to make sense from a Juventus point of view, especially the part that involves selling Caldara to a direct rival. 

The Bianconeri been lauded for their wisdom when it comes to undertaking transfer business, however, this time Milan could reap the benefits from this proposed deal. Caldara is currently in better form than Bonucci, having been consistently exceptional for Atalanta over the past two seasons. The Italian youngster is tipped to be the long-term replacement for Juventus captain Giorgio Chiellini and Andrea Barzagli - that’s why the Serie A giants invested in the 24-year-old in 2017. The Bergamo-born defender has already experienced Europa League football with La Dea and is now eyeing the opportunity to ply his trade in this season’s Champions League with his new club.

A quiet achiever, the Atalanta academy product is a complete modern day centre-back most Coaches dream of having at their disposal: strong in clean tackles, good at ball interceptions and a set-piece threat in aerial situations. Why would the Bianconeri want to let go of a defender who boasts great qualities and can hone them alongside none other than veteran defender Chiellini?

The fact that Caldara played exceptionally well for a smaller Serie A club - alongside average defenders - indicates he is a capable leader and adaptable defender. However, Bonucci isn’t as versatile as most calcio fans think. The Italian international has thrived in the past BBC partnership at Juventus and the Azzurri, but this past season suggested that 31-year-old generally struggled without Chiellini and Barzagli by his side.

Bonucci returning to the reigning Serie A champions may bring immediate and short-term success, especially in the club’s quest to claim a third Champions League title. But let’s face it, both Chiellini and Barzagli are not getting any younger and will not be far off from hanging their boots up. If Bonucci moves back to Turin, who will play alongside the Italian when Chiellini and Barzagli leave? Daniele Rugani might be an option, but he too might leave sooner than expected. If this Caldara-Bonucci swap goes ahead, it will only highlight the major issue calcio currently faces - the young Italian talent being pushed aside to accommodate older players.

The safe option for the Bianconeri here would be to keep Caldara and give this talented youngster a chance to prove himself at a high calibre club like Juventus.

Have your say...


Berna however started rather letargic but grew in influence as the game went on, with 2 worthwile chances, including hitting the crossbar in extra time.

CANCELO once again Starman for Juventus.

Delightful cameo by Fagioli, who played well.

Nightmare portion of game for Benatia and insufficient effort by Szcz.

OK Chiellini, Barzagli and Perin.
on the 5th August, 2018 at 6:54am

Today we signed (OFFICIAL) Lipari and Nobile fron Empoli and De Graca (Italian-Brasilian) from Palermo.
Selected as they play for the Italy U17 side, they arrive on loan with the right to buy at the end of the season
Two forwards, L & DG, and a defender, N.

Also JUVENTUS made an offer of $2mil for Leao of Sporting Lisbon.
This youngster 19 years old, possibly for the Juve U23 side in Serie C.

Pjaca should have his medical tests at Fiorentina on Tuesday
on the 4th August, 2018 at 5:24pm
Our representative in Serie C will be called JUVENTUS U23

You will have heard Nedved saying that our signings don't end here.

I guess that depending on who we sell, the various SMS, Pogba, Rabiot, Godin, Savic, Darmian, etc. could still be targets.

Also PSG could come in for a swap deal including Rabiot and Kurzawa for either Pjanic or Sandro.
on the 3rd August, 2018 at 11:38pm
@ tuvieja

Oh now you say im full of BS... LOL

Can you show me which one did i say contained with BS? Where?

You know what? Yours is full of BS. Started with "the deal is based on Caldara, if Milan wont have him, they wont buy Higuain."

Did Leonardo tell you that?

And now again you're playing with your assumption by think of me a butthurt. Mr.Know-It-All...... LOL
on the 3rd August, 2018 at 5:13pm
Chelsea "wanted" Higuain, alas ONLY Sarri had chosen him, and the Granovskaia didn't want to invest "cash" for the Pipita.

On the other hand Morata is a different kind of striker from our ex-Argentinian.
And we needed the greenbacks for the Fairplay.

Pjaca, Morata, Clemenza, even Spinazzola, who was a n. 10 for our Primavera side, winning player of the Tournament at Viareggio + Top Scorer, are a different kind of striker, compared to Gonzalo.

Players sometimes change roles........
on the 3rd August, 2018 at 5:05pm

Well, Favilli is built like an ox, a full fledged centreforward.

Kean is deffo a frontman, the best that Italy U19 can offer.

Also we are currently buying Serie B + C good prospects for the B side.
Already signed Idrissa Toure' from Werder Bremen and a couple of Serie B defenders.

We'll move on to the B side Del Sole and Fernandes, probably Del Favero and Fagioli + Matheus Pereira.
Even Clemenza if Palermo doesn't pay up the money we want.

And Moreno is a N. 9
on the 3rd August, 2018 at 4:42pm
@Giancarlo C's mom

You talk so much BS that I am not sure where to start. I think it is even better not to start anyway, since I already stated clearly my point and this deal going through in a LOAN with NO obligation to buy Higuain says it all. Sorry if you are butthurt, but that is how the things are
on the 3rd August, 2018 at 4:32pm
@Carpe diem. My mistake. I should have said out and out strikers. We have only Mandzukic and Ronaldo unless Keane is kept as 3rd choice out and out striker. As for trequatristas we have dybala and Bernardeschi as his understudy. A Morata Higuain swap would have been the best but Chelsea did not want higuain.
on the 3rd August, 2018 at 12:48pm
"""" or striker with potential to develop """


just in case....
We already have several of those young strikers.

I'm just saying........

Even Dybala and Berna are young enough, also we have a Primavera side, now we even have a "B" team that will contest the Serie C title.

We have Kean, Pjaca, Orsolini, Favilli, etc. etc. etc.

We just bought Moreno from Barcelona, 200 + goals to his name!
on the 3rd August, 2018 at 11:25am
@ tuvieja

My point is.. actually, there are 2 separated deals there and gimme a break! Leonardo has no power to "force" Juventus hand Caldara to Milan.

You Milan fans have been too long dominated by Juventus so you like to invent fake stories like that. LOL

P.S. Send my regards to Viktor. His lover and beloved Captain jut betrayed him by saying, "“I’m excited. Turin is my home and Juventus is my home, so I’m really happy to be back.”

Now he can clearly see why I don't like this clown.
on the 3rd August, 2018 at 4:19am

"the deal is based on Caldara, if Milan wont have him, they wont buy Higuain."

Says who - You? LOL

So, Mr. Know-It-All, did Leonardo or Marotta told you that? Hahaha...

In fact, the deal is based on Juventus who want to get rid of Higuain because he's too expensive for a backup striker. About Bonucci, It's not a bizarre to see experienced defender like him was chosen by Marotta rather than young defender like Caldara as Juventus previously linked with Godin.
on the 3rd August, 2018 at 4:01am
Very disappointed by this move. Bonucci left us in a very sneaky way. He is a good defender, but only because he had great defenders beside him. The only positive about this move is that he knows the team and he doesnt need time to gel in. If Juventus go on to win the Champions league then this move would be totally worth it. If they fail then this would be the worst transfer in the last 8 years.
on the 3rd August, 2018 at 12:46am
Giving in to Bonucci-Caldara swap to offload El Pipa makes Juve look a bit desperate. Not a good look for Juve.
I do not agree with the move but....who am I? Just a diehard Bianconero!! So Forza Juve 4 ever!
on the 2nd August, 2018 at 3:43pm
The only way this deal will make sense is if we add a world class midfielder or striker with potential to develop.
on the 2nd August, 2018 at 1:16pm
Think about it.. Leo coming back makes perfect sense in re-establishing that original BuChBoBa organisation in defence especially now that we're going into a season with just two of its original lineup left in Giorgio and Andrea. Leo also arrived before Andrea did actually, not that that matters anyway. Andrea is quite old so there maybe isn't a lot left in his tank and bringing Leo back is good for sporting purposes.
on the 2nd August, 2018 at 5:51am

What will happen if very good offers come in for Rugani, Benatia and Pjanic?

How do we solve the Bentancur enigma?

WOW! Benta is a raw and classy prospect, author of one of the best moments in the World Cup!

Where next for Kean and Pjaca?
Plus the question marks over Marchisio and Sturaro.......

Is there still space for Darmian and SMS?

WOW! Stormbringer!!!
on the 2nd August, 2018 at 2:14am
lmao @ anyone suggesting a Higuain/Romagnoli swap. That'd be almost as bad a transfer decision for Milan as the Caldara/Bonucci swap is for Juve. Milan has the obvious upper hand here, in that Juve are desperate to get Higuain off the books and noone else is biting: that they're giving an option to buy instead of obligation, especially on top of the Caldara swap, says it all! Milan would never accept moving Romagnoli in the other direction, and have absolutely zero reason to ever consider it.
on the 2nd August, 2018 at 1:44am
No never!
Him and Alves caused a big disturbance in the changing room at Cardiff at half time!
We were on for the treble that season!!
on the 1st August, 2018 at 11:44pm
on the 1st August, 2018 at 9:02pm
first of all, juve should've never let bonucci go. secondly, should have rejoined again? yes and no. yes because he brings solidity and is a mainstay in the Italy national team as well as being a starter in beating the advancing age of andrea barzagli. no he shouldn't have joined because his reputation is tainted when joining milan not to mention the reception rubentus fans gave him when they faced each other in turin. caldara is not worth 40m but I am guessing they are going off his futurevalue
on the 1st August, 2018 at 9:01pm
Bonucci is an excellent defender, but Juve should have showed more integrity by rejecting his wish to come back. He had bad season in Milan, he was one of the weakest players on the pitch against Real when Juve lost 4:1 and he did not want to accept his role in that defeat, screaming out at his teammates. I liked him, but this business is not that bad only because Juve will finally offload Pipita, who failed to impress, no matter that he scored many goals. I wouldn't swap Caldara for Leo.
on the 1st August, 2018 at 7:41pm
all the true italian football fans should now go woo hoo! Juve got ronaldo, inter got naingolan/vidal and milan got higuain, well it might be the start for rebirth of serie a. #Giants_are_rising_again
on the 1st August, 2018 at 7:37pm
And it happened. *sigh* From the heights of CR7 to losing Higuain in exchange for Bonucci. Looking at the numbers and state of the squad, it makes sense. Having never seen Caldara play one competitive minute in the black and white, his loss is minor.

My bias will still have me rank Bonucci as 5th choice behind Benatia and Rugani. If management have faith in him then it better be worth how we fans feel about him vs Higuain now.
on the 1st August, 2018 at 6:28pm
This deal shows how desperate Juve want to offload higuain. Selling him now to Milan would mean Juve would get/save 18+36+(7.5x3) = 76.5M w/o tax. Who else want to spend 54M on 30 years old striker clearly in decline. IMO, He’s not worth the 94M in the first place. Even chelsea with all their money, don’t wanna spend that much and prefer Morata to be revived by Sarri.

Getting Caldara is the only reason why Milan want to pay that much for higuain. Losing bonucci doesn’t matter for them.
on the 1st August, 2018 at 4:16pm

Yes, as well 7 is better than 3, but that is not really the point of this discussion right?

BTW, I miss Massimo Moratti and his stars Ze Maria, Cauet, Kallon, Van Der Meyde, Recoba, etc.... those were the times :)
on the 1st August, 2018 at 3:31pm
@Giancarlo C's Mom

I know you are right because there are more than a few fans thinking Higuain is a mediocre striker, but I am not part of that group so chill.
Rugani? you can keep your laugh a bit since Juventus wont sell two CB's, not Chelsea will buy any of them since, as I said you before. the deal is based on Caldara, if Milan wont have him, they wont buy Higuain. You still look clueless about why this deal is in place because Juventus needs to sell Higuain-they only have Milan's offer
on the 1st August, 2018 at 3:28pm
No. He is a fool to go back and admit to his failure at Milan.
on the 1st August, 2018 at 1:39pm
There were reasons unknown why Bonucci left in the first place but differences have obviously been set aside so I have no problem with him returning; but I do have a problem with him coming in at the expense of Caldara because he (and Rugani) are the future. I understand that with the capture of Ronaldo they're going all out to win the CL this year and they probably want reliable heads to sure things up at the back but selling Caldara with no buy back clause is a mistake!
on the 1st August, 2018 at 1:38pm
Keep Caldara and Rugani. Sell Higuain to Milan or swap him with Romanogli and some cach. But plese please Do NOT SELL caldara or Rugani, It would be the moste stupid thing in the world to do so. Its better to keep teh team as it is since we can win it all whiteout Bonucci. The Ronaldo deal gave me a headace since hes 33 yeas old and cost alot of doe, but hes the best player in the world. Ths Caldara Rugani Bonucci deal makes me wanna overdose on something (ish)
on the 1st August, 2018 at 1:24pm
At least Higuain is halting this dumb deal. He deserves better than Milan.
on the 1st August, 2018 at 11:04am

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