However, when it became clear that Juve were open to the transfer, Vincenzo Montella sent Milan sporting director Massimo Mirabelli at least 10 text messages a day urging him to sign Bonucci.
The loss of former Lazio skipper Lucas Biglia to injury has deprived Milan of another seasoned leader in the middle of the park for the opening rounds of the 2017-18 campaign, but Franck Kessie has already shown in pre-season and the Europa League that he could actually be 'The new Yaya Toure', while set-piece specialist Hakan Calhanoglu is a fascinating wildcard.
The emergence of 19-year-old Primavera product Patrick Cutrone only intensifies the competition for places but there is also the very real prospect of another proven goalscorer arriving before August 31, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's admission that he would be open to returning to Milan merely backing up the point made by another former Rossonero, Kaka, that San Siro is suddenly an attractive destination again.
As the team's new leader, Bonucci's influence will, therefore, be key and he sees parallels between his new squad and the Juve side of 2011, which was transformed into title winners under Antonio Conte despite coming off the back of two seventh-placed finishes.
"I chose Milan because in my head I have the idea of repeating the path I trod at Juventus, where we started from a reconstruction, like is the case here, and ended up at the top," the defender told the Gazzetta dello Sport on Tuesday.
- Serie A: Juventus director Beppe Marotta criticises agents for unsettling ...Firstpost
- Bonucci hoping for Pirlo effect after Milan moveSBS - The World Game
- Serie A 2017-18: Shock signing Bonucci, Juve star Dybala - five stars to watchFourFourTwo
- Juve wary as rivals bare Serie A ambitionsThe Hindu
- The teams set to fight it out in Serie AbeIN SPORTS AUSTRALIA
- Serie A preview: Can Milan's liberal spending challenge Juventus?The Guardian (blog)
- Big-spending AC Milan throw down the gauntlet to JuventusMorung Express
- Juventus short in the middleFootball Italia
- AC Milan and Napoli likeliest challengers to Juve's crownNew Zealand Herald