ATLANTA -- Juventus general manager Beppe Marotta said the deal that would see Gonzalo Higuain and Mattia Caldara move to AC Milan in exchange for Leonardo Bonucci and cash was "just about done" on Wednesday, but by late that night on the east coast of the U.S., manager Massimiliano Allegri was already talking about the 24-year-old in the past tense.
Higuain spoke to media on Wednesday, laying out that he expected to undergo a medical and sign his Milan contract on Thursday. The deal would see the 30-year-old striker join the Rossoneri in an €18 million loan deal for this season, with a clause to make the move permanent next summer for an additional €36m (€54m in total).
Included in the transfer is also a straight swap of Caldara and Bonucci. Caldara signed for the Bianconeri from Atalanta last summer, and returned to the Bergamo club on loan. He's yet to make a competitive appearance for Juve, but will be the makeweight to bring Bonucci back to Turin a year after his move to the San Siro.
Speaking to media after Juventus' penalty shootout win over the MLS All-Stars on Wednesday night in Atlanta, Allegri lamented Caldara's pending departure.
"I was sorry to see him go," he said in a news conference. "He is a very young professional, a very good one, but I'm sure that he will have a very good future. Unfortunately within the market we have to make some choices, and that's what happened."
Allegri added that in Wednesday night's opponents, he saw players with value in the European market.
Seventeen-year-old Vancouver Whitecaps starlet Alphonso Davies signed for Bayern Munich last week in a deal worth €18.75m including add-ons. Miguel Almiron, a 24-year-old midfielder from Atlanta United, told ESPN this week that he believes he's ready to play in Europe.
And while the Juventus manager only got a look at Major League Soccer's brightest young talents for a brief moment, he was convinced some had a future in Europe.
"It's hard to say for only 30 minutes, but I've seen some very good players, some very fast ones, very technically well prepared," Allegri said. "I think that they can have a future in Europe."