What's the story?
AC Milan and Juventus have concluded the most extravagant deal of the summer involving the transfer of three players according to reports from Italian media outlet, Calcio Mercato. Gonzalo Higuain and Mattia Caldara will move to the San Siro, while Leonardo Bonucci will go the opposite way to the Juventus Stadium. The two center-backs move in a straight swap, while Higuain goes to Milan on an initial one-year loan deal worth around €18 million.
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This deal will come as a blow for Chelsea who was heavily linked with moves for all three players involved in the swap deal. The London side, under the guidance of new manager Maurizio Sarri, has already gone shopping in Serie A this summer and was hoping to conclude deals for Higuain and at least one of the two defenders before the transfer deadline day.
While both Caldara and Bonucci have signed on permanent deals for Milan and Juventus respectively, Higuain comes with an option to buy at the end of the season. Should they choose to activate the clause, they will need to fork out somewhere in the region of €36 million to make the deal permanent.
The heart of the matter
Both clubs can view this deal as good business. AC Milan has gained two exceptional players for just €18 million as they continue to rebuild and capture their former glory. They have replaced an aging center-back with a player 7 years his junior and signed a proven goalscorer in Serie A.
Meanwhile, Juventus has taken a rivals captain and added one of the most highly-rated center-backs in the world to their squad. With Caldara having only played a couple of non-competitive games for Juventus this summer, the Turin club will view this as a great piece of business as they look to build a team capable of challenging for the Champions League this season.
Rumour Probability: 10/10
By all accounts, this is a done deal. The terms of the swap have been agreed and all players involved are willing to move. The only missing piece to complete the transfers is the player's signatures which is simply a formality. We can expect all three players to line up for their new clubs come the opening day of the Italian season.
Both Juventus and AC Milan have high expectations for the season ahead and this mega swap deal shows the ambition of both clubs. However, Chelsea will feel extremely disappointed that three of their main targets are now off the market and may struggle to find new targets before the transfer window closes next week.
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