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Manchester City transfer rumour: Pep Guardiola eyes massive bid for Juventus star Leonardo Bonucci

3.24K   //    10 Nov 2016, 17:01 IST
Leonardo Bonucci
Leonardo Bonucci: Manchester City’s solution at the back?

Two-time Premier League champions Manchester City are reportedly weighing up a substantial bid for Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci. City manager Pep Guardiola has identified Bonucci as the solution to his side’s defensive flaws and the club is expected to submit a bid in the January transfer window. The Citizens have let in 10 goals in the Premier league and another 8 in just four Champions League matches.

Whilst being breathtaking going forward, it is vital that the Citizens sort out their defensive fragilities in order to fulfil their hopes of winning some silverware at the end of the season.

Club captain Vincent Kompany has been struggling with injuries for a long time and is no longer the consistent performer that he was earlier. Meanwhile, the pairing of Nicolas Otamendi and summer recruitment John Stones have looked far from convincing recently. Hence, it is no surprise that Guardiola is keen to sign a world class defender in January and Bonucci fits the bill perfectly. The Italian, who is a proper ball playing centre-half and a reliable defender, could fit into Guardiola’s possession based style of play with ease.

Bonucci arrived in Turin in 2014 and has won five consecutive Serie A titles with the club en route to becoming the club captain. His partnership with Giorgio Chiellini and Andrea Barzagli in the Juventus backline forms one of the best defence in Europe. And it is rumoured that a bid of £50m is necessary for the Old Lady to even think of letting Bonucci leave the club.

Manchester City’s CEO Ferran Soriano recently claimed that Bonucci contacted him in the previous summer transfer window to discuss a potential move to The Etihad.

“At the moment there are a lot of players that want to play under Pep," Soriano told RAC1. "The Italian central defender  Bonucci wants to play for him and he called us. I called the Juventus sporting director and he told me they didn't want to sell. There ended the story!"

However, Bonucci dismissed those rumours and said there was no contact with Manchester City.

"I never called anybody and they never called me personally," Bonucci told RAI television. "I feel I have the Juve shirt sewn to my body because I breathe it every day, but wearing the national team shirt is also an honour. There is nothing better than feeling you are a player that youngsters look up to. I like being this and giving 100 percent when I wear this shirt.”

"I feel like I am at a turning point in my career now. Anybody can have one or two great years but it is now up to me to continue this. I will give all I have got to improve my qualities and be important for Juve and for the national team."

Manchester City’s Premier League rivals Chelsea are also keeping close tabs on Bonucci as Conte is eager to improve his defence despite a recent run of results which saw Chelsea win five consecutive league matches and The Blues didn’t concede even a single goal in any of those games. Since both the clubs have the financial muscle to fork out  £50m, it might come down to who could outbid the other.

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