Manchester City’s pursuit of Leonardo Bonucci may be over following a report on Tuesday by Gianluca Di Marzio that Juventus refuse to negotiate his sale.
Unless Bonucci himself tells Juventus, a club not known for holding players against their wishes, he wants to leave, City will have to look at alternatives. Most reports have been consistent, stating that Pep Guardiola wants two ball-playing centre-backs, with one of them almost certain to be John Stones.
But having been rejected by Aymeric Laporte, and the Bonucci pursuit in doubt, who is next on the list? According to SportMediaset in Italy, highly-rated Roma defender Kostas Manolas is the first alternative if Bonucci is impossible.
25-year-old Manolas was excellent for Roma last season and his good passing is the sort of feature that would appeal to Pep Guardiola. Both Manchester United and Chelsea are reported to have made approaches for him, but Roma are trying to hold on to the Greek international. However, Manolas has still yet to reach an agreement to extend his contract, meaning he could leave the Stadio Olimpico this summer.
Manolas would be a cheaper alternative to Bonucci and is also a few years younger, but Bonucci is the one Pep Guardiola is reportedly ‘obsessed’ with and City may continue their attempts to woo him before giving up and targeting Manolas.