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Manchester City plan fresh move for Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci – report

Juventus' Leonardo Bonucci addresses a news conference on the eve of their Champions League Group D soccer match against Borussia Moenchengladbach in Moenchengladbach, Germany  November 2, 2015.   REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay

Pep Guardiola will turn to one of his “favourite ever players” as he seeks to reshape the Manchester City defence this summer, with a fresh move for Juventus star Leonardo Bonucci planned according to ESPN FC.

City’s pursuit of the 29-year-old Italy international was one of the big sagas of last year’s summer window and looks set to be revived, with Guardiola identifying Bonucci as a top priority.

Bonucci has not hidden his affection for Pep Guardiola and English football, recently telling So Foot Magazine, “When the best manager in the world says you’re one of his favourite players, you act like it’s nothing, but you still can’t help but have a smile on your lips.”

The centre-back extended his Juventus deal until 2021 in December, but an argument with Juve boss Massimiliano Allegri in February cast new doubts about his future in Turin.

Although Bonucci and Allegri are on better terms now, it is thought that pragmatic Juventus chiefs may be tempted to cash in on a player who turns 30 next month. And with Chelsea also interested, they could provoke a bidding war and possibly fetch a world record transfer fee for a defender.

The benefit of a leader in defence for City could be seen against Southampton with Vincent Kompany in the side, but with continuing doubts about the captain’s fitness, it would make sense to bring in another great veteran defender. Bonucci was part of the outstanding Juventus defence that shut out Barcelona last night at the Camp Nou, as the Italian giants progressed to the Champions League semi-finals.

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