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Higuain and Bonucci in swap deal between Juventus and AC Milan

Leonardo Bonucci and Gonzalo Higuain

Milan, August 2: Leonardo Bonucci is rejoining Juventus from AC Milan and will trade places with Gonzalo Higuain and Mattia Caldara, Massimiliano Allegri has confirmed.

The Bianconeri boss revealed Italy defender Bonucci, who flew into Turin to complete a medical on Thursday, is bound to link up with the club he left in a shock €42million switch just over a year ago.

Paris Saint-Germain were rumoured to be interested in the 31-year-old, but the former Juve skipper has engineered a swift return to the club where he spent seven successful seasons.

His arrival at Allianz Stadium comes as Higuain finalises an expected loan move to Milan with a view to signing permanently at the end of the season.

The Argentina striker will be joined at the Rossoneri by team-mate Caldara, the 24-year-old centre-back squeezed out by Bonucci's return.

"Leonardo is back after one year. He is an important player," Allegri told Sky Sport Italy.

"In six months he has not changed at all.

"Caldara is younger and along with Romagnoli and Rugani is part of the best defending trio in Italy. I am sorry but the circumstances forced us to let him go.

"As for Higuain, I thank him for these two seasons during which he gave his best. Milan have signed a great striker, for sure."

Higuain moved to Juventus in 2016 for 90 million euros ($105 million) after scoring a record 36 Serie A goals in the previous season for Napoli and his sudden departure infuriated that team's supporters.

The 30-year-old has won Serie A and Coppa Italia titles in each of his two seasons with Juventus and scored 55 goals in 105 appearances in all competitions, including 40 goals in 73 outings in Serie A.

Critics, however, say he has failed to make an impact on the big occasion.

He had a subdued World Cup where he started one game, appeared as a substitute in two more and failed to score a goal. He was left on the bench for the second round match against France as Argentina lost 4-3 and were knocked out.

Bonucci spent seven seasons at Juventus, helping them win six successive Serie A titles, before joining AC Milan for 40 million euros in a shock move last year.

Caldara, who officially signed from Atalanta in January 2017, failed to make a competitive appearance having remained on loan at his boyhood club last term.

(With inputs from OPTA and other Agencies)

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    Story first published: Thursday, August 2, 2018, 15:10 [IST]
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