Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci appears poised to complete a shock move to Serie A rivals AC Milan.
Bonucci was seen arriving at the Casa Milan headquarters on Friday, with his car greeted by around 200 excited fans as it drove past.
It marks a return to San Siro for Bonucci, who began his career with Milan’s foes Inter, but he made only one substitute appearance in the league along with a handful of Coppa Italia matches.
An agreement between the two clubs over a fee believed to be €40 million was reportedly struck in the early hours of the morning, paving the way for one of the most unexpected transfers in recent Serie A history.
Only a few weeks ago, Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri said that Bonucci would be the “leader of the Juventus dressing room.”
That no longer seems the case, however, with Bonucci now in Milan for a medical and to discuss personal terms, which could reportedly make him Serie A’s highest-paid player amid suggestions of a €7.5m annual contract.
A day earlier the Lazian centre-back – a 70-time Italy international – sparked intrigue among Juve fans by tweeting: “Back to work. I’m ready to start again!”
Their initially faint fears appear to be well-founded as the player for so long part of a solid three-man defence alongside Giorgio Chiellini and Andrea Barzagli is about to depart the Allianz Stadium.
He had loan spells at Serie B sides Treviso and Pisa before he joined Genoa in 2009. However, he was almost immediately transferred to Bari in a co-ownership deal.
He was ever-present in his one season with Bari, forming a strong central-defensive partnership with Andrea Ranocchia, before being snapped up by Juve.
Bonucci has won Serie A in each of the last six seasons with Juve, and also won the league title with Milan’s city rivals Inter in 2006.