Juventus star Bonucci moves to AC Milan

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Milan, July 15 (IANS) AC Milan announced that an agreement has been reached with fellow Italian club Juventus to buy defensive stalwart Leonardo Bonucci who will sign a five-year contract subject to medical completion with a transfer fee of 42 million euros ($48.16 million).

“AC Milan have reached an agreement with Juventus FC for the permanent transfer of Leonardo Bonucci, subject to medical completion,” the club’s statement read on Friday.

“Should the player pass the medical examination in the next few days, he will join the Club penning a five-year contract.”

Juventus too declared that Milan will pay them the transfer fee in three football seasons.

The 30-year-old, who has won 70 caps for Italy, arrived at Milan headquarters on Friday and the seven-time European champions AC Milan released videos and images of the player meeting the city club CEO Marco Fassone.

Several media reports pointed to Bonucci’s alleged frosty relationship with Juventus head coach Massimiliano Allegri for the surprise move.

His future at Juventus has been uncertain for some time following a bust-up with Allegri in February. There are also reports about him being unhappy with arguments with the coach and some players during the Champions League final loss to Real Madrid in June in Cardiff.

Bonucci was a summer transfer target for both Manchester City and Chelsea following a successful seven-year spell in Turin.

Bonucci is part of Juventus’ famed BBC defensive trio alongside Andrea Barzagli and Giorgio Chiellini who have powered the Turin outfit to six Serie A titles and two finals in three Champions League campaigns.

Bonucci played 319 times for Juventus, scoring 19 goals.

It is being reported that Bonucci, who will be made Milan captain, will get a salary of eight million euros ($9.16 million) per season at the club that currently boasts a project to take it back to its glory days. With this salary, he could be the Italian league’s highest paid footballer.

He will now become the latest in a string of signings by Milan this summer. Under their new Chinese owners, they have already signed at least six players who can start for the team.

Bonucci penned a latter of gratitude for Juventus after the move.

He wrote on Facebook: “It’s been seven seasons. Seven Seasons of victories, of dreams made, of growth through an empathetic and exceptional bond with juve, in its entirety.

“Six Badges, all lived and conquered by fighting. The great regret of not winning the Champions League, however, is the pride of success and for being part of a large family,” he added.

I’ve always given everything, really, to the end. I’ve received, given and learned. What I see now looking back is still a wonderful story, worthy to end in full respect and affection, without affecting what I have experienced with society, the captain, the comrades and the fans.

“Thanks for everything, juve.”

–IANS

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