Sky Sports have reported that AC Milan boss, Gennaro Gattuso, has admitted that there is a chance that Leonardo Bonucci could depart the club this summer.
The above report also names Manchester United as a potential destination for the defender.
United boss Jose Mourinho is known to be on the hunt for a new centre-back this summer, and the Red Devils have already been linked with a host of big names that might fit the bill.
Bonucci only joined AC Milan last summer, in a shock big-money move from Juventus. Only one season on and the 31-year-old may be seeking pastures new once again. The disappointment of failing to qualify for the Champions League could be one of the driving factors behind the decision.
With Bonucci seemingly available, it looks like an obvious good move for Mourinho to make.
However, United might think twice before swooping for the Italian international.
Last season, in his debut campaign at the San Siro, Bonucci endured an uncharacteristically inconsistent season. His form didn’t pick up until after Gattuso took the hot seat, at which point the whole team began playing better.
Bonucci was brought in to be an organiser at the back though, and to lead by example. When the side needed that from him most, in the first half of the season when they were under such pressure, the veteran defender wilted.
This lead to questions as to whether his quality at Juventus had been exaggerated by the excellence of those who were around him. Considering Bonucci cost AC Milan €42 million last summer, that question has yet to be satisfactorily answered.
Manchester United would require Bonucci to come in and perform the same role that the Italian giants expected of him. The Old Trafford back line is crying out for a calm and collected leader. Gambling on Bonucci to be that man looks like it could be a very big, and expensive, roll of the dice indeed.
Mourinho would be better served by pursuing another centre-back target with a more comforting recent record.