Leonardo Bonucci has rejoined Juventus, while Gonzalo Higuain goes to AC Milan in the other direction in a pair of transfers that have reunited Juve’s trophy-winning center-back pairing.
Bonucci had gone to AC Milan last summer ending a seven-year stretch with Juventus where he won seven Serie A titles. The 31-year-old at the time said his “bond had faded” with Juventus and it was “time to part ways.” Now, after a disappointing season with Milan, he has returned.
“After spending seven wonderful years in black and white, Leonardo Bonucci has returned to the club following a season at AC Milan,” Juventus said in a statement confirming the deal. “Both Juventus and Bonucci are ready to start winning things again together.”
The transfer is a swap deal, but not for Higuain. Instead, 24-year-old defender Mattia Caldara moves to Milan after only joining Juve in January of 2017. He never made a senior appearance for Juventus, spending much of his time out on loan at his boyhood club of Atalanta. There is no money changing hands, with both players essentially traded with an equal monetary value.
To Milan also goes striker Higuain, in what are technically separate transfers. Higuain reportedly moves to Milan on a one-year loan, with an option to purchase at nearly $42 million at the end of the season, when the Argentinian will be 31 years old.
“Gonzalo and Mattia are two important pieces of the new era of the club,” AC Milan’s statement read.
Higuain scored 16 goals last season with Juventus in 35 Serie A appearances, with 24 goals scored the league season before that. Milan will be Higuain’s third consecutive Italian club, having previously played for Napoli before moving to Turin.