Leonardo Bonucci’s 13 years of ups and downs at Juventus have this week been made worse by Cristiano Giuntoli’s poor communicative start.
Juventus’ new sporting director only arrived earlier this month but has already had a major impact on the future of the Italian giants.
Ahead of the 2023-24 season, the last member of Juventus’ historic defensive line – which included Buffon, Barzagli, Chiellini and Bonucci – will leave the club.
According to Gazzetta dello Sport, Juventus chiefs Giuntoli and Giovanni Manna visited Bonucci during his family holiday in Tuscany to inform him that he would be dropped from their pre-season tour of America.
Although the 36-year-old outlasted all of his former Old Lady teammates, Bonucci was still reeling from the unexpected news that he would have to leave.
Leonardo Bonucci, 36, is set to leave Juventus this summer amid a row with club bosses
Newly appointed sporting director Cristiano Giuntoli has reportedly visited the veteran defender on vacation to inform him that he is no longer part of Juventus’ plans ahead of the next campaign.
As Italian football prepares to say goodbye to the man who scored in the European Championships final at Wembley, some may question the decision to move Bonucci but, in reality, it is clear to see why they did it.
At 36, the Italian is not getting any younger and has been in poor physical condition for two seasons, which has hampered Juventus.
The defender is noticeably slower than his younger teammates and in general the team looks worse when picked to play with Bremer or Federico Gatti.
After Nesta, Bergomi, Maldini, Cannavaro, Materazzi, Chiellini and Barzagli, he was the beacon of the defense of the national team which, in turn, finds it much more difficult to accept his regression on the pitch.
Juventus’ historic No.19 shirt will have a new owner this summer, despite Bonucci’s desire for a proper send-off to the Allianz Stadium.
However, Giuntoli prevented Bonucci from bidding farewell to the fans – just as Buffon, Chiellini, Barzagli, Cuadrado and Marchisio were allowed to.
Instead, Bonucci was dropped from the squad as proof that the mood at Juventus is anything but serene – and that the whole club is on board with the decision to leave the veteran defender.
The 36-year-old defender has spent more than a decade at the heart of the Old Lady’s defense
BONUCCI WANTED THE SAME TREATMENT AS CHIELLINI
True love stories always have a positive ending and Bonucci hoped he could receive the same treatment reserved for Buffon, Barzagli and Chiellini who basically chose when to leave Juventus.
There have been many difficult moments between Bonucci and Juventus, but the former captain is ready to say a final goodbye to the Bianconeri.
Although he holds no grudges against the fans, the defender will find it difficult to forgive the club for their actions – which he sees as a betrayal.
Those who know him well described him as being in shock after hearing the news.
Even after Bonucci’s controversial transfer to AC Milan in 2017, no fan would have ever thought that after 13 years Bonucci would have left Juventus in an abrupt way, such as being kicked out by new sporting director Giuntoli.
According to Tuttosport, Bonucci will still be at the Continassa sports center on Monday to resume training, despite being told by the club to find a new team.
Gianluigi Buffon (pictured), Andrea Barzagli and Giorgio Chiellini have all been given a strong start by the Old Lady after deciding to end their glittering careers in Turin.
JUVENTUS CAN’T AFFORD TO HAVE BONUCCI
Bonucci is among the highest paid players at Juventus and of all the defenders his salary is the highest despite having played very little in the last 12 months.
His 16 Serie A appearances last season can’t justify a salary of around €6m-a-year (£5.1m).
That means each of his Serie A games cost Juventus €375,000 (£320,000), after head coach Massimiliano Allegri gave him a small role in their squad last season.
For this last year of his contract with Juve, he has the right to receive an additional 3.5 million, all other bureaucratic aspects will be taken care of by his agent Alessandro Lucci.
In truth, it was a sad fall from grace for the legendary defender. After his heroism at Wembley, it seems his batteries have run out and he hasn’t managed to find that same form.
Juventus manager Max Allegri (above) had forced Bonucci to play a small role in their season