Pep Guardiola’s desire to team up with one of his “favourite players ever”, Juventus stalwart Leonardo Bonucci, didn’t pan out a year ago when Manchester City tried to sign the Italian defender.
One year later and the situation has changed. Since a high-profile falling out with Juventus coach Max Allegri last season, 30-year-old Bonucci has been tipped to leave the Serie A champions in the summer.
And when his agent Alessandro Lucci told Sportitalia last night that he is “ci sto lavorando” – “working on it”, with ‘it’ being a transfer away from Juventus, the Italian press blew up, particularly when it emerged that AC Milan are making a serious attempt to sign him.
Bonucci’s family are not keen to leave Italy but this is an opportunity for Guardiola and Manchester City bosses to try and convince Bonucci to head over to the Premier League. City are in the market for a centre-back and Bonucci is the personification of the type of defender Guardiola likes, mentally strong, tough and excellent on the ball.
Despite already signing Germany centre-back Antonio Rüdiger in a £34million deal, Antonio Conte’s Chelsea could also make a play for Bonucci.
Juventus may be more in favour of selling overseas than to the reemerging Milan, who are spending freely in an attempt to put an end to Juve’s domination of Serie A. However, it is the player himself and his family who would need persuading to swap Turin for Manchester, should City go again for one of last summer’s prime targets.