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...
I guess it could've been worse. Swapping Bentancur for Biglia. Or firing Allegri and bringing back Antonio 'Toupet Tactician' Conte.
on the 1st August, 2018 at 7:13am
More than the transfers,I am worried about our balance sheet.We have spent more than 200 million and we are not getting anything by selling Higuain or Caldara.Dortmund were giving us 40 m for 24 year old Caldara and now we are swapping him with 31 old Bonucci.I have been very disappointed by the transfer window. We had a chance to bring down the age of the squad but instead managed to raise it. I am not sure that it makes sense to have so many old players.
on the 1st August, 2018 at 6:59am
@ tuvieja

I pointed out to some pathetic Milan fans here who pretend Higuain is a mediocre striker and his arrival won't be a bless for their poor club's situation. Well, I guess Milan fans have lost their hope in forward department after getting used to see clowns like Kalinic and Silva in their team. LOL

Btw, i will save my big laugh for Milan fans at the moment because i sense Marotta is utilizing this situation to increase value of Rugani and to speed up Chelsea's effort to sell Morata.
on the 1st August, 2018 at 6:40am
This deal is not for Bonucci. Its all about Higuain. Milan will only buy Higuain if the swap is agreed.
on the 1st August, 2018 at 3:54am
Forget Bonucci/Caldara swap. Juve is perfectly setup for at least another 5-7 yr domestic & European glory. Don’t trade that in for a might help this yr. Recommendation - Take a loss on Pipita and execute a straight swap for Romagnoli. (Btw -FIGC should really support & back this proposal) Imagine a back 3 Rugani, Caldara and Romagnoli playing yr round under Allegri’s tutelage, then with the Nazionale.
Proposed Formation 3-4-3
Rugani Caldara Romagnoli
Cancelo Can Pjanic Sandro
Costa Dybala CR7
on the 1st August, 2018 at 1:32am
One thing that this little farcical merry-go-round might achieve is proving my theory that Juve could probably win the title with my cat. Will Bonucci miraculously learn how to defend again? And what about Montella's complaint last season that "not everyone has a Higuain". Well Milan now have their very own Higuain. Now what happens if they still struggle for goals? Hopefully these are the last transfers for Milan this summer and they can get on with working with what they have.
on the 31st July, 2018 at 9:27pm
I don't get people here. You guys don't know much about football if you think higuain isn't a good striker. He was the best striker in serie a and after ronaldo second. A world class striker for an 18m loan plus caldara for Bonucci. That's amazing business on milans part. No wonder why Juventus fans are angry more so for the bonucci deal. Milan win this deal by far they bring in two important players for them. If higuain misses big games then what's messi? He's still praised yet he's the leader
on the 31st July, 2018 at 8:57pm
Agree with just about every other person in the comments, this deal doesn't make a lot of sense for Juve. Shame Juve won't give younger players, especially young Italians, a chance.
on the 31st July, 2018 at 8:29pm
@ tuvieja - Kalinic or Silva is better than Torres or Niang, or Cerci so be happy :)
on the 31st July, 2018 at 8:14pm
Juve fans are complying about give Caldara to Milan , Cmon youre also getting money for the fat fail of Higuain
on the 31st July, 2018 at 6:28pm
Bonucci coming back to Juve will leave a nasty taste in the mouth but if he can help win the CL then it is worth it.
LB will step back in with no problems adapting
The new BBC (Benatia,Bonucci,Chellini)will give us the best chance to win.

Forza Juve.
on the 31st July, 2018 at 5:23pm
Milan gets by far the better deal.
Higuain is not a bad business at all for Milan: if the prices of quality strikers is considered next to Milan badly needing one and its financial condition, it's actually a good move for this money.
Regarding the swap, this is a joke and a gift to Milan. Most of Milan fans wanted Bonucci out anyhow - let alone swapping him with one of Italy's best talents without any clauses.
It's just incredible that Juve accepts such a deal. Let's hope it is concluded soon
on the 31st July, 2018 at 5:10pm
I think Juve plans right now will all out in Champions League, with CR7 age is 33 at now, as his prime physics maybe just 2 years more. Juve need maximize CR7 advantages in their tactic to get UCL glory for next 2 UCL campaign.

Bonucci will give the solidity & guarantee in our backline alongside chielo for the next 2 year rather than youngstar in Caldara as he hasn't much experience in UCL level.

Sure i prefer Caldara for the Juve's future, but at now the mature of Bonucci more needs for Juve
on the 31st July, 2018 at 3:36pm
He's not wanted by us tifosi. Marotta is doing a great job in being short sighted, and p*ssing off his entire fan base. We are sacrificing a great young talent who moved to Juve to become a champion all so we can dump Pipita and bring back a traitor.
on the 31st July, 2018 at 3:14pm
That is why Milan is taking a good deal here - the fact that nobody else wants Higuain, whatever the reason is. Juventus is forced to sell him. They are playing the short game (showed clearly by Ronaldo's transfer) and that looks like a good decision. I think both clubs win here, but maybe Milan wins a bit more. Sorry if you are sore about this transfer saga, but you need to view the situation quietly and in the end you will see Juventus also wins here
on the 31st July, 2018 at 3:11pm
@Giancarlo C's Mom

I think you need reading comprehension. Where did I say Milan was not interested in Higuain? I clearly stated that Juventus has no offers for him, which is the truth. Milan has taken advantage of that, and of course is taking a great forward, who guarantees no less than 20 goals a season. I am not specifically excited about him arriving, but lets be serious, better than Kalinic or Silva? Of course and by a good margin. I am not sure where is the hipocrisy here.
on the 31st July, 2018 at 3:08pm
Milan fan here. Love this move, haha; bring us Caldara! I'm less enthused about Higuain in comparison to, say, Morata who has also been touted as a potential target, but he should hopefully shore up the offense with proven goalscoring ability and be a good example for Cutrone to continue learning from.
on the 31st July, 2018 at 3:06pm
Seems like too big of an elephant in the room to ignore, especially when others brought it up.

Players leaving and coming depend on circumstance, career or other factors. In Bonucci's case, both the club and him wanted to part ways after Cardiff and his poor discipline. If he has to come back in exchange for Higuain, fine. I'd happily take Higuain but there's no space for him. Just stop giving it a positive spin, because even if Caldara isn't all that we're taking back a trouble maker.
on the 31st July, 2018 at 2:47pm
Pllllllllllleeeease can everyone just calm dow....We all know that Allegri must ask Ronaldo what he wants as ultimately now it's him who runs our club #whatasigning
on the 31st July, 2018 at 2:37pm
This is beautiful and good news for us Juventini.
I welcome Bonnuci. We need to go all out for the UCL.
Its now or never for Juventus and Allegri.
Those who don't understand the complexities of running a club and knowing when to slow and when to haste should just relax and watch
on the 31st July, 2018 at 2:32pm
on the 31st July, 2018 at 2:31pm
Juve are stuck cleaning up for their 1st mistake, buying Higuain and paying his ridiculous salary. That mistake is still costing them as they now have to give up a younger, stronger and smarter player for Clownucci. A lot of you are quick to forget that RM shipped 4 goals pass Juve in the CL primarily from poor defending from Clownucci on 2 of those occasions. They know they are getting the short end of this stick here. Costly mistake.
on the 31st July, 2018 at 2:23pm
No way !!! When someone turns his back to a great team like Juventus , he should go forever. very disappointing.
on the 31st July, 2018 at 2:16pm
does anybody notice bar the fans its for both players and the clubs bear deep significance. Didnt juve crying for pinnacle of defender in godin, ok now they got it!. For an italian dont you all know ac milan is haven, he will be leader there overnight, wow!. End of discussion.
on the 31st July, 2018 at 1:56pm
Even if they sign Bonucci (a risk, but he could do well), they'd be better off selling Benatia and Higuain outright and keeping Caldara and Rugani.

Barzagli is as good as gone and Chiellini will probably follow in the next 2 years, so they should keep both.

A defence of:
Cancelo - Bonucci - Chiellini - Sandro
De Sciglio - Rugani - Caldara - Spinazzola - Barzagli would be among the best in the world both for quality and depth.
on the 31st July, 2018 at 1:53pm
@ tuvieja

I don't think you understand the situation. LOL

It is Milan who WANTS Higuain. That's why I laugh at this story. So i really laugh at you Milan fans who pretend don't want to see him wearing red and black jersey. Such a hypocrite! LOL

About Bonucci, I'm afraid Allegri has made up with this clown so he doesn't mind if Bonucci goes back to Juve. But of course it's still an idea and Marotta clearly knows Juve fans don't want him back.
on the 31st July, 2018 at 1:14pm
Juventus are playing the short game. They bought Ronaldo to win the Champions Lrague. With age not on his side, it's basically now or never. Hence why Bonucci would get a regular game at Juve, but Caldara wouldn't for a few years - look at Rugani's spell.
on the 31st July, 2018 at 1:11pm
Tuveija kind of sums it up for everyone. Juve did not really want to sell bonucci in the first place and he didnt want to leave italy so juve had to sell for 43 mil to milan. Higuain has not gotten any offers and this seems like the best option imo. Also godin did not ask to leave either. I think ppl are letting their hate for bonucci influence their decision and its acceptable. But benatia, bonucci and chiellini will be great, if they get godin and keep rugani and barzagli will be good as well.
on the 31st July, 2018 at 1:06pm
win win for both clubs, Juve get the cb who gives them the best chance to win the UCL now and this fixes most problems for us. What a win for Milan though, we finally have a world class striker after 7 years and will now have the best young cb pairing in the world, probably the best young defence in the world too. I respect Leo, gave use the best summer for a long time, got rid of De Sciglio and then got us Caldara and Higuain, very happy with this.
on the 31st July, 2018 at 12:53pm
The morons that think they are transfer experts are hilarious.

Bonucci wants Juve, Juve didn’t ask for him until he begged to go back.

Juve are focussing somewhat on the short term success and why not. There’s only so many young players you can sign and rely on. To win major trophies you need proven champions not some kid that plays for Atalanta that might be good in five years time at which point ronaldo and the others will have long been gone. The champs are needed right now.
on the 31st July, 2018 at 12:40pm

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