Reports: Real Madrid to beat Chelsea with club record bid for 30-year-old superstar
Florentino Perez missed out on Barcelona's target and is now looking elsewhere
What's the story?
Leonardo Bonucci's unhappy spell at AC Milan is all set to come to an end, as Real Madrid have launched a €50 million bid to bring the Italian defender to the Santiago Bernabeu, according to multiple reports in Spain as well as British news outlet, The Daily Express. Zinedine Zidane's wish for reinforcements in January had seen Florentino Perez attempt to hijack Barcelona's move for Yerry Mina, but the Colombian is all set to sign with the Catalans. Thus, Los Blancos are readying a €50 million bid for Bonucci, as a means to partner him with Sergio Ramos, and thus make him the club's most expensive defender of all time.
In case you didn't know...
Having come through the ranks at hometown club Viterbese, Bonucci moved to Inter Milan in 2005, before a journeyman career resulted in spells at Treviso, Pisa and Genoa, before finally making his breakthrough at Bari in 2009/10. Juventus signed him for €15.5 million the following season, and after forming an impregnable defence for 7 seasons, the Italian superstar shocked the world of football with a €42 million move to AC Milan ahead of the 2017/18 season.
The heart of the matter
Widely considered a coup for Milan when he signed, Bonucci has been part of a nightmarish Rossoneri start to the season, resulting in the sacking of Vincenzo Montella. Having struggled to form a partnership with Alessio Romagnoli, Bonucci has instructed his agent to seek a move abroad, despite earlier stating his preference to remain in Italy.
Real Madrid had already inquired after Bonucci when he was at Juventus, and still remain firm admirers of the defender despite his woeful start to the season. Los Blancos are willing to offer Milan a short-term profit, and their Chinese owners are considering the €50 million offer as great money for a 30-year-old who has struggled.
Madrid face competition from Chelsea as well, but the Blues are unwilling to spend a high amount on a player with little resale value, despite Antonio Conte's insistence. Thus, Los Blancos are now favourites to sign Bonucci.
Real Madrid have always signed the best in the world - but their record when it comes to defenders is woeful - Danilo and Fabio Coentrao are the club's most expensive defensive signings and Florentino Perez could reverse that trend with Bonucci. The Italian's style of play could be perfect to partner Sergio Ramos with, and allow Zinedine Zidane to rejuvenate the club's season.