Leonardo Bonucci may get his wish of a return to Juventus before the end of the summer transfer window, but it will require a sensational swap deal to help the transfer go through.
According to Sky Italia, Milan want to exchange Bonucci for two Juventus players. Mattia Caldara would join the Rossoneri permanently, but the big news is that Gonzalo Higuain would also move to the San Siro on loan.
It has already been reported this week that Bonucci wants to return to Juventus after just one year away, but this new update will have reverberations beyond the Italian borders.
AC Milan and Juventus have agreed in principle to swap Leonardo Bonucci with Mattia Caldara, with Gonzalo Higuain to move on a paid loan with option/obligation to buy.— Mootaz Chehade (@MHChehade) July 28, 2018
This news could come as a blow to Maurizio Sarri, who has been an admirer of the Argentine since their days together at Napoli and wants to reunite with him at Chelsea.
Sky are reporting that the basis of a deal has been agreed between the two Italian rivals. That does not mean that anything is set in stone, only that they have agreed to value Bonucci and Caldara at the same price.
Higuain would cost an additional €15m for his loan move. This is a high price for a loan, which suggests that there may be a purchase option after the initial 12-month period.
Higuain & his brother-agent are returning to Italy tomorrow. They have a meeting scheduled with Leonardo. Milan will attempt to convince the player, the idea is to make him a symbol for the Milan team and give him a four-year contract, longer than his current one with Juve [Sky] pic.twitter.com/sQUP0njJLM— Milan Eye (@MilanEye) July 28, 2018
Journalist Alfredo Pedulla claims that Juventus would still prefer to sell Higuain to Chelsea, but the Blues have to find a way of selling Alvaro Morata first.
There is also the complication of Higuain's €7.5m a year wage packet, which was the largest at Juventus before the signing of Cristiano Ronaldo.
It is unlikely that Juve would want to pay that while Higuain was out on loan, so Milan would have to take that into account.