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A busy summer for Mexico stars

 By Ben Gladwell

Andrea Barzagli bids farewell to Leonardo Bonucci, denies bust-up

Gab Marcotti explains Juventus and AC Milan's notable history of transferring players to each other.

Juventus defender Andrea Barzagli has said goodbye to AC Milan-bound Leonardo Bonucci, denying that there had been any bust-up between the pair at the Champions League final.

Bonucci is set to join Milan for €40 million, leaving Turin after seven seasons which have included six straight Serie A titles and the past three Coppa Italias, as well as two Champions League finals.

"We've spent some fantastic years together, full of victories and achievements," Barzagli wrote on Instagram. "We've improved and supported each other and found a great feeling together with Gigi [Buffon] and Giorgio [Chiellini] which I had never felt before.

"It's going to be strange not to see you in the dressing room, that same dressing room which some people have been saying is now divided, inventing and making things up about arguments and confrontations. But we know the truth. Good look for your new adventure, Leo."

Rumours of a bust-up involving Bonucci and Barzagli at half-time in June's Champions League final have been on the increase, even if Bonucci tried to dismiss them a month ago, saying that "nothing happened" in the dressing room.

It has also been claimed that Bonucci clashed with Dani Alves prior to kickoff, and that he had been involved in an altercation with Paulo Dybala.

Former Juve defender Alves, who signed for Paris Saint-Germain last week, has slammed the media for inventing such reports in a tweet, which was retweeted by Bonucci, in which he said: "For your information, we were together suffering and commenting on the defeat until 6 in the morning, do not draw s--- without knowing what happened!"

Mario Mandzukic has also dismissed the rumours, writing on Twitter: "Words have been attributed to me regarding Dani and Leo. I have NEVER said such thing. Who knows me knows that I never talk behind anyone's back. If I have to say something I always speak face-to-face and those were NOT my words. Don't worry guys, FAKE."

Bonucci paid for a full-page advert in Gazzetta dello Sport to bid farewell to Juve at the weekend, thanking the club, captain Buffon, his teammates and the fans.

He made no mention of Massimiliano Allegri, with whom he had an argument prior to a Champions League clash in February for which he was dropped by the Juve coach. That incident is reported to have strained their relationship, even if Allegri has claimed otherwise.

Ben Gladwell reports on Serie A, the Italian national team and the Bundesliga for ESPN FC, UEFA and the Press Association. @UEFAcomBenG.


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