Juventus & Milan considering shock Bonucci-Higuain swap deal

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The Serie A sides are in the early stages of talks that would see the Italy international defender return to Turin after just one year in Milan

Juventus and AC Milan have opened preliminary discussions over a possible swap deal involving Leonardo Bonucci and Gonzalo Higuain.

Goal understands Juve are seriously considering bringing back the 31-year-old defender, with Bonucci having left the Serie A champions just one year ago amidst claims that he had fallen out with coach Max Allegri.

Higuain, who is likely to be moved on following Juventus's stunning signing of Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo, could head in the other direction, and Goal understands initial talks between both clubs have taken place.

New Milan general manager Leonardo and Juve CEO Beppe Marotta were in conversation over the incredible swap deal on Monday, although discussions are still at an early stage.

Juve have, however, sounded out Bonucci's agent Alessandro Lucci, who has given positive feedback over the likelihood that the centre-back would be interested in a return to Turin.

Reports have suggested that the likes of Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United are also interested in Bonucci, who made 51 appearances in all competitions for Milan in the 2017-18 campaign.

The defender has started to consider his future due to the chaotic ownership situation at San Siro. American hedge fund Elliott Management have repossessed the club after previous owner Yonghong Li failed to make his loan repayments.

The club were initially banned from the Europa League as a result of the chaos but then reinstated on appeal.

Milan boss Gennaro Gattuso, meanwhile, is hopeful that the club will be able to keep hold of Bonucci, although accepts that if the player asks to leave, it will be difficult to convince him to stay.

He told reporters: "His future? I do not know. I talked to him. Leo had a confrontation with me, but I'm not the club. He must talk to the managers, but as long as he wears the Milan shirt, I want to see the Bonucci of these first 12 days. 

Leonardo Bonucci Gonzalo Higuain Juventus 2016-17

"He's a great professional and always the first to lead the group. I hope he can stay, he is a valuable player with a great mentality. When a player expresses a desire, the coach and those working in a group must do everything possible to persuade him to stay.

"Agonistically, we must think about the pros and cons. If the player asks explicitly, we need to tackle the subject."

Higuain, meanwhile, appears destined to leave Juve, with Goal previously reporting that Massimiliano Allegri's side will prioritise the sale of the Argentine following the arrival of Ronaldo.

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It seems unlikely that the former Real Madrid striker would accept a bit-part role as Ronaldo's understudy, and Milan are understood to be interested in the idea of Higuain being the man to lead their attack this coming season.

The Rossoneri could face competition from Chelsea, however, who are also closely monitoring the Argentine's situation ahead of a potential bid.

New Blues manager Maurizio Sarri is in the market for a striker and enjoys a close relationship with Higuain from their time together at Napoli when the attacker broke the all-time Serie A record for goals scored in a single season in 2015-16.

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