Leonardo: 'Bonucci is for now, Mattia is for the future and now'
- AC Milan's sporting director is delighted with the swap deal
- He has also labeled Bonucci a 'defensive icon'
Leonardo said: "I think every round of negotiations has its own story, it can start in one way and end up in another. The deal was carried out in a very positive environment, in the best way for everyone. I think we’ve reached a situation that is good for everyone.
"Atalanta also build their players mentally. On a technical level, he’s a modern player, he scores goals, he’s strong and he’s good at reading the game. He comes to complete a group of youngsters in Conti, Calabria and Romagnoli. All of them are young players with a great future, who can form a defence for many years to come.
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"Bonucci is one of the best defenders in the world, an icon even, but things can go one way or another in football. It was time to evaluate things. I saw that potential in Mattia. They’re at different points in their careers.
"Bonucci is for now, while Mattia is for the future and now. We haven’t changed tact, we know where we stand and this deal has given us so much energy. It takes us to an important dimension and lets us breathe optimism. We’re on a path of gradual growth.
"The squad is coming together now, but I must also address the situations of the players leaving. This team are already competitive, so we’ll see the opportunities that arise."