In Italy, the transfer market is a serious business. Every day there are pages and pages devoted to ‘calciomercato’ in newspapers, transfer specialists on TV, and great intrigue in domestic and foreign transfers. It was in Italy that news of a Manchester City player from Spain joining a Russian club (Javi García to Zenit) first broke, due to the networks of agents who share information over there.
So it’s unsurprising that there are many conflicting stories on particular deals. Take the Leonardo Bonucci to Manchester City saga for example. Today alone, there have been several different versions of where it is at, or not at.
The first report of the day came from SportMediaset. Their information was that Juventus have turned away a €60 million bid from City, and Bonucci himself has said ‘no’ to a salary of €8 million per season. Only Mediaset has reported that City have made an improved proposal of €60 million, with others saying it’s on the cards, but not yet tabled. Mediaset added that City could still return with improved offers to both the club and player.
This evening, leading Gazzetta dello Sport journalist Carlo Laudisa tweeted: “Juventus are trying to resist, but the temptation of City to Bonucci is strong. And Mansour is offering €49 million over five years”. That €49 million over five years works out at around £160,000-per-week, but Laudisa didn’t clarify is that is before or after tax. The tone was, though, that Bonucci isn’t completely dismissive of City’s offer, contradicting Mediaset’s early claim.
Finally, the most reputable of them all, Gianluca Di Marzio, gave his latest views on the developing saga during his TV show on Sky Italia late this evening. He said that Bonucci’s agent Alessandro Lucci will hold more talks with City over the next few days and do his job of getting the best offer for his player. Coupled with Laudisa’s tweet, this would suggest there is some sort of interest from Bonucci in a move to City. However, Di Marzio added that even if City improve their offer to €60 million, Juventus will say ‘no’. They do not want to sell him and he also says they’d likely reject a €120 million offer from Manchester United for Paul Pogba. The likelihood is that either player would have to tell the Old Lady they want to leave for any deal to be possible.
Mixed reports, contradictions… it’s just another day in the transfer market. The only thing that is certain is that Manchester City are seriously interested in Leonardo Bonucci, one of world football’s finest defenders. Will they get him? A gambling man would probably say ‘no’, but there are so many clashing reports that it’s impossible to say for sure.