Manchester City’s pursuit of Pep Guardiola favourite Leonardo Bonucci may be over once and for all, after information from Sky Italia’s Gianluca Di Marzio tonight.
Following days of silence, there were encouraging signs this morning when Gazzetta dello Sport reported that Juventus had yet to respond to a new €60 million offer from City. Not only that, they insisted that the 29-year-old defensive stalwart was tempted by the prospect of playing for Pep Guardiola.
Juventus’ stance, according to Di Marzio, is simple: Manchester City can offer whatever they want, but Bonucci is not for sale and is off the market.
Juventus are also waged in a battle with Manchester United, who are willing to break the world record to sign former City target Paul Pogba. Pogba will cost over €100 million if he returns to the club that left him go for free several years ago, a price tag that City and Real Madrid do not feel he is worth, causing them to abandon their interest.
As for Bonucci, while not impossible that there could be new developments, the signals from Italy tonight are that City are chasing a lost cause here and may have to move on to other targets. John Stones is set to join the club, but Pep Guardiola is reported to want two ball-playing centre-halves.
In addition to Bonucci, if this pursuit is over, sporting director Txiki Begiristain also couldn’t get a deal for Aymeric Laporte over the line earlier this summer. Atlético Madrid defender Lucas Hernández has been mooted as a possible alternative target if City go ahead with plans to sign two centre-backs.