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Union Berlin sign Italy captain Bonucci from Juventus

Union Berlin have signed Italy captain Leonardo Bonucci from Juventus, the Bundesliga club announced on Friday. 

“At Union, I have the opportunity to continue playing at the highest level and to support the team on its way in three demanding competitions with my experience” Bonucci said in a statement released by the club.

“I am very much looking forward to this new station in my career.”

Arriving in the German capital on a free transfer reportedly on a one-year deal the centre-back will help Union as they prepare for their maiden Champions League campaign. 

The defender has 84 Champions League caps and played in the 2015 and 2017 finals, which Juventus lost to Barcelona and Real Madrid respectively. 

“In Leonardo, we are signing a player with a lot of experience” sporting director Oliver Ruhnert said. 

“He has proven his qualities over many years both nationally and internationally. 

“We are convinced that with his mentality and his flexibility he will expand our possibilities in defence and raise us to another level once again.”

Bonucci scored eight goals in his 121 appearances for Italy, captaining the Azzurri to the Euro 2021 title. 

Named the 2016 Italian footballer of the year, Bonucci has won nine Serie A titles — eight with Juventus and one in 2005-06 with Inter Milan. 

Promoted for the first time in 2019, Union have improved their final position in the league each season, culminating in last year’s fourth-placed finish, which snared them a spot in the Champions League.

Bonucci’s signing is one of several impressive new additions to the Union squad this summer, including Germany representatives Robin Gosens and Kevin Volland.

Union also signed midfielder Lucas Tousart from neighbours Hertha Berlin, made Diogo Leite’s loan deal permanent and brought in David Datro Fofana and Brendan Aaronson from the Premier League on loan deals. 

Bonucci could play as soon as Sunday in Union’s home match against RB Leipzig.

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