Maldini hails Bonucci capture and backs Milan for Champions League challenge

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The club legend believes the transfer move for the former Juventus defender can help inspire Milan and return the team to greatness

AC Milan icon Paolo Maldini has welcomed the audacious signing of Leonardo Bonucci from Juventus and hopes the Rossoneri are now equipped to return to the Champions League.

Milan's squad has been comprehensively overhauled in the off-season, Italy international Bonucci joined by the likes of Franck Kessie, Lucas Biglia and Andre Silva in moving to San Siro. 

Get Milan at 6/1 to win Serie A

One of the best defenders in the history of the game, Maldini is certainly qualified to assess the merits of Milan's marquee signing and the 49-year-old, who hung up his boots in 2009, is a fan of his Azzurri successor. 

"It's certainly difficult to find [good] centre-backs and Bonucci's one of the best," he told Sky Italia.

"Bonucci's certainly an excellent buy.

"It seems a bit early for them [Milan] to go for the Scudetto, but they'll fight for a place in the Champions League."

According to Maldini, the full impact of Bonucci's departure from Juve will not be known until the end of next month and may depend on the Scudetto holders' own recruitment activity.

"First of all, we have to say the transfer window is still open and that we have to wait until it's closed before we can pass judgement on any team," he said.

"But Juve's strength is their group, which has been in place for several years now."

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