Leonardo Bonucci has been one of the most sought after targets in the transfer market this summer.
The Italy international ended last season with an uncertain future ahead of him at Juventus despite forming arguably the best defence in Europe alongside Giorgio Chiellini and Andrea Barzagli.
Bonucci subsequently drew the attention of several top clubs intrigued by the prospect of adding a centre-back boasting nearly unrivalled poise and defensive expertise.
Chelsea and Manchester City – two clubs eager to secure a player of his ilk – signalled their interest soon after his situation in Turin became clear.
But while even the wealthiest of Premier League clubs are familiar with losing out to Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich in the transfer market, nobody could have expected who Bonucci would join from Juventus.
The 30-year-old elected to sign for AC Milan after winning six league titles and reaching two Champions League finals with their historical rivals.
Bonucci is part of an extensive recruitment drive at the San Siro that has also seen Ricardo Rodriguez, Hakan Calhanoglu and Andre Silva arrive this summer.
SUMMER SPENDING SPREE
The Rossoneri have invested £170 million in new players for the 2017-18 season with their veteran centre-back being the most expensive to date at £38 million.
Bonucci left Juventus in rather acrimonious fashion after falling out with boss Massimiliano Allegri and is now targeting Champions League glory with his ambitious new club.
The former Bari ace has hinted he would take some satisfaction from beating the Old Lady to a European crown – an honour that has eluded the Old Lady despite their recent domestic domination.
"I chose Milan because they had the most ambitious project," he told La Gazzetta dello Sport, per Goal.
"I live with challenges.
"And [directors Marco] Fassone and [Massimo] Mirabelli made me feel very important and they really wanted me, otherwise the negotiation would not last for only 48 hours.
"They are either done immediately or never done - and it is certainly not a question of money. To those who call me a mercenary I say that I also had interest from abroad, where I would have earned more.
"I have chosen Milan because, in my head, there is the idea of repeating the course I had at Juventus, where we had started rebuilding, as in this case, and we came to the top.
"Here, I want to get even higher. Within four years, I hope to win the Champions League. I want to win all the titles."
Vincenzo Montella is building a Milan side capable of challenging Juve on all fronts this season, but only time will tell whether their expensive summer activity will translate to success on the pitch.
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