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Real Madrid Transfer News: Leonardo Bonucci Rumours Dismissed by AC Milan

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistNovember 27, 2017

MILAN, ITALY - NOVEMBER 26:  Leonardo Bonucci of AC Milan in action during the Serie A match between AC Milan and Torino FC at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on November 26, 2017 in Milan, Italy.  (Photo by Claudio Villa./Getty Images)
Claudio Villa./Getty Images

AC Milan director Massimiliano Mirabelli has dismissed speculation linking Leonardo Bonucci with an exit amid links to Real Madrid.

The Italy international arrived at the San Siro from Juventus accompanied by a great fanfare in the summer, but he’s struggled to find his best form in the red and black of his new club. Rumours have surfaced since, although Mirabelli told Premium Sport (h/t Albert Garcia of Sport) there’s no way the centre-back will be going anywhere.

"We know there will always be interest in him, but we have started a project, and we want him to continue with us," he said.

REGGIO NELL'EMILIA, ITALY - NOVEMBER 05:  Sport Director of AC Milan Massimiliano Mirabelli looks on before the Serie A match between US Sassuolo and AC Milan at Mapei Stadium - Citta' del Tricolore on November 5, 2017 in Reggio nell'Emilia, Italy.  (Phot
Alessandro Sabattini/Getty Images

As noted by Garcia, Madrid are said to be keen to strengthen their squad after an inconsistent start to the campaign. They trail Barcelona by eight points in La Liga.

Defence is said to be one area they’re wanting to bolster, and Bonucci, rated by many as the finest defender in world football during his time at Juventus, would be an eye-catching acquisition.

While Bonucci was drafted in and made skipper at Milan immediately, things have not gone well for him or the team. Bleacher Report UK suggested earlier in the campaign that the 30-year-old may have regretted his decision to depart:

B/R Football @brfootball

Leonardo Bonucci might be reconsidering his move right now 😂 https://t.co/THnRx4GJvV

The centre-back has had some torrid moments already in a Rossoneri jersey. In the recent UEFA Europa League match against Austria Vienna, he failed to clear a routine shot off the goal line. Additionally, the centre-back was sent off earlier in the campaign during a 0-0 draw against Genoa

As we can see here courtesy of WhoScored.com, ahead of the recent Milan derby, the numbers behind Bonucci’s displays were a long way down on some of his domestic rivals:

WhoScored.com @WhoScored

It hasn't gone according to plan for Leonardo Bonucci at AC Milan, but Milan Skriniar has enjoyed a fine start to life with Inter https://t.co/V9DVbbOMbS

Milan’s form has been so underwhelming that the club took the decision to dismiss Vincenzo Montella as manager on Monday and replace him with Gennaro Gattuso, per their official Twitter account.

Indeed, there have been contributing factors to Bonucci’s form at Milan, as the team has clear structural problems and a clutch of new players have shown no cohesion with one another. And it’s worth remembering how imperious he was in a settled Juventus side.

At the heart of a back three, the Italian would defend with aggression and intelligence, while he also distributed the ball with tremendous grace. 

Bonucci was one of the world's best at Juventus.
Bonucci was one of the world's best at Juventus.Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

Real Madrid do have quality centre-backs on their books already in the form of Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane, while Nacho and Jesus Vallejo are both fine deputies. But if the opportunity were there to bring in a player of Bonucci’s pedigree, then Los Blancos would surely jump at it.

It’d be a massive surprise if Milan opted to let him leave so soon, though. The club pulled off a huge coup bringing him in in the summer and will be confident that as the team improves, so will his level. 

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