Breaking down the likely AC Milan-Juventus swap with JuveFC
Obviously, the biggest news in the transfer window at the moment is the potential swap deal between AC Milan and Juventus. These two clubs are no strangers to working together as they were able to come to a deal quickly last year to bring Bonucci to the San Siro. With the defender on his was back to Turin, I had a chat with none other than Rav from JuveFC.com (Twitter @Juvefcdotcom) to get his thoughts on this crazy deal.
Claudio: So obviously this is a bit of a crazy deal taking place, but I want to take it step by step. Is Bonucci returning the most shocking part of it all?
JuveFC: Absolutely. It's come out of nowhere, a bit like the Ronaldo deal. I honestly didn’t expect Bonucci, being the character that he is, to come back to Juve with his tail between his legs. It sounds like he is the one pushing for this move, which makes it all the stranger, I don't understand his motivations for this move whatsoever, nor the clubs.
Claudio: I agree, it definitely sounds like he is the one pushing the deal. The weirdest part of it for me is the fact that Juventus want to appease him and sacrifice this much to bring him back. Why do you think that is? Do you think they believe he is a player that can really help them this season or is it more of just them wanting to allow him to return because of their history together?
JuveFC: I can only think that the relationship with the management has been mended and that has in some way prompted him sounding out this move. What I simply can't understand is the sacrifice the club is prepared to make. No matter which way I look at it, it makes little sense. Yes, Bonucci brings a particular skillset with him and he can help us bring the ball out from the back and improve our overall play, but he's 31, nearer the end of his career than the start - is this solely a big push for the CL? And if it fails, we're directly strengthening a rival in the league and helping them rebuild during a very turbulent time - it's baffling on so many levels. Then you have the Caldara trade, which allows Milan to develop one of the best young defenders in Europe at the moment, all in exchange for a player who fought to leave Juve the first time around. Baffling.
Claudio: So which is the bigger sacrifice, or worse part of the deal, Caldara or Higuain? And do you think Caldara was sacrificed in order to entice Milan to take Higuain off the books at Juve?
JuveFC: Caldara. Without a doubt. I just can’t fathom how the club are in a position where they need to offload Higuain at this late stage - Surely this was always going to be the case and it should have been done much sooner. Higuain can always come back after a season, but I don't think he will - I suspect Milan will be in a better position next summer and they'll exercise the option to buy him outright. Caldara going there is a real slap in the face - the kid has been on loan for two seasons preparing to play at Juve......and now he's being traded to Milan to bring back a turncoat who already deserted us once. It's such a poor deal in my opinion, and that’s really hard for me to admit, considering how much I love this management.
Claudio: It definitely is odd to me as well. I can't see why the Juve management want to bring him back so badly after last summer. Now would his return be easier to swallow if it was just a straight cash offering or even just a Bonucci for Higuain swap? Also, if they do win the Champions League and Bonucci is at his best and a protagonist does it make it all worth it?
JuveFC: It would be half way acceptable if they bought him back for a slightly reduced fee. I wouldn’t trade him for Higuain, let alone Caldara. In the space of the last 10 years, we have players that stuck with us in Serie B, at our absolute worst - Bonucci couldn't even stick with us at close to our absolute best. He's not worth any kind of trade. Should he win the CL with Juve and have a great season, perhaps it might go some way to healing the rift, but it's still difficult to put any faith in a player who has already left the club once for whatever reason. I've no faith in him at all and I would fully expect him to leave again next summer if he doesn’t get his way.
Claudio: I could understand those types of feelings towards him. It is really shocking that he forced his way to a rival last year and now has forced his way back a year later. Surely he won't receive a warm reception from the Juve fans in his first match.
JuveFC: I don’t understand what he thinks will be awaiting him in Turin.
Claudio: The other side of this is Milan - which as you know I am a bit of a Milan fan myself. An extraordinary part of this is that Milan fans should really loathe him for fooling us for a year only to force his way back.
However, the deal Milan is getting in return is simply too good to pass up and I think something Milanisti would sign up for even if Bonucci didn't force his way back to Juve.
What are Milan getting in Higuain and Caldara? Does this move, in your opinion as someone who watched them closely as well as Serie A as a whole, strengthen Milan and make them a real top four contender? Or even with this move are they still far behind the likes of Roma, Napoli and Inter?
JuveFC: I think Higuain, in the right system, is still a 25 goal a season striker in all competitions. He's a clinical forward and he's come back to Juve this summer in better shape than ever. He'll be all the more motivated this season and probably out to prove a point. Caldara is a player I've followed for a while now and I'm a huge fan of his - He's everything that you want in a young CB - his positioning, awareness, strength in the air, confidence, work rate - everything is exceptional, and he's still only 24 - he will only improve at Milan. I think Milan have upgraded both the attack and the defence massively with these signings so I would put them in the mix with Roma - I think Napoli and Inter might be marginally head but not by much.
Claudio: Thanks for that insight! I am definitely looking forward to a Caldara-Romagnoli partnership. Seems like it could be something that lasts for years. Finally, if this deal does indeed go through - what is one signing that is realistic that the management could achieve which would help put this all behind the fans?
JuveFC: We need another midfielder - the only thing that might truly appease the fans is a move for someone like Milinkovic-Savic or perhaps Pogba, but both seem well out of reach for now. Perhaps another 'big-ish' name in midfield might help make all this more palatable.
Claudio: Well, Marotta and Paratici have pulled off two shocking moves this summer, although for different reasons lol, so I wouldn't rule those two players out just yet!
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