A name persistently linked with Manchester City during the summer was Juventus centre-back Leonardo Bonucci, a player Pep Guardiola once described as one of his favourite ever.
City’s interest in Bonucci was widely reported, with some Italian sources even claiming bids had been made and that his agent had flown to Manchester for discussions. In the end, the 29-year-old Italy star remained in Turin, leaving many questions unanswered.
Bonucci later claimed that a move to the Premier League had tempted him, but he had instead opted to stick with the Italian champions, where he is so revered.
Speaking to RAC1 in Spain, however, City CEO, Ferran Soriano had a different version of the story. The Catalan chief said to the radio station, “The Italian central defender Bonucci wanted to play for him [Guardiola] and he called us. So I called the Juventus sporting director [Fabio Paratici], and he told me they didn’t want to sell. End of story.”
City have been linked with a renewed attempt to sign Bonucci in January, depending on Vincent Kompany’s fitness, and Soriano’s words indicate that there has been interest from all parties, other than Juventus, in making a deal happen.
Could the Italian end up at the Etihad Stadium after all or has that ship now sailed?