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Serie A champions Juventus have been ordered to replace any recently purchased shirts bearing Leonardo Bonucci’s name on the back free of charge by a consumers rights group.

Bonucci is set to complete a shock move to AC Milan and one fan was so upset after having bought his No. 19 shirt that they took it back to the club store only to be told there was nothing that could be done.

The Codacons consumer rights watchdog considered the fan’s complaint and told Juve that they must accept returns from unhappy fans and exchange their shirts with new ones — with a different name on the back.

“It seems necessary to allow shirts bought with the Bianconero‘s defender’s name on the back to be exchanged with the shirt of another Juventus player,” Codacons said in a statement published by ANSA. “Nobody could have expected Bonucci would have joined Milan in a matter of days and failing to allow the consumer to change his shirt would be a double blow for them.”

Bonucci’s departure from Juve, which will become official once he has successfully passed a medical, came as a surprise to most Bianconeri fans, who have nevertheless become accustomed to losing at least one key player in each of the past few summer transfer windows.

Andrea Pirlo, Paul Pogba, Arturo Vidal, Alvaro Morata and Carlos Tevez all left Turin in recent years when they were considered to be important members of the squad, but Juve have nevertheless continued to dominate in Italy and won the past six Serie A titles.

Leonardo Bonucci joined Juventus from Bari in 2010.

That is one reason why general manager Beppe Marotta remains confident the loss of Bonucci will not shift the balance in Italian football.

“The champions may come and go, but the club remains and our desire to win is still intact,” Moratta told ANSA at an awards ceremony in Rome.

Club president Andrea Agnelli added that Juve’s era of success is not drawing to a close.

“There is only one result that exists for Juventus, and that is victory,” ANSA report him as saying. “I am not saying it with arrogance, but with the legitimate ambitions of a competitor, and we are competing to win.

“It’s the group which makes the difference; a united group, and this is the fundamental part. Maybe we will only realise ten years from now what we have achieved in these six seasons, but all that matters to us now is what lies ahead.”

Juve remain the bookmakers’ favourites to win a record seventh straight Serie A title this season, with Napoli and AC Milan regarded as their nearest challengers.

In addition to winning the league six times in a row, Juve have also won the past three editions of the Coppa Italia, and reached the Champions League final twice in the past three years.

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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