Manchester City are reportedly prepared to rival Chelsea in January for Juventus’s star central defender Leonardo Bonucci.

Italian publication calciomercato have claimed that Manchester City have shored up their interest in Juventus’ s central defender Leonardo Bonucci. The 29-year-old was on the brink of a move to the Premier League in the summer transfer window and is reportedly set to be a target for the English clubs in the upcoming transfer window in January.

Antonio Conte is reportedly unhappy with Chelsea’s defensive performance thus far and wants to add to his central defensive options, with the Blues already linked with the likes of Roma defender Antonio Rudiger. Bonucci would, arguably, be an instant upgrade to each of the central defenders available at the Italian manager’s disposal.

Being a defender, at the age of 29, he would also be likely to provide at least 4-5 years of football before age begins to catch up on the Italian international. Chelsea will likely target Bonucci in January if their defensive woes continue or Conte fails to see improvement in the performance of the defensive unit of the squad.

Manchester City, on the other hand, secured the services of John Stones from Everton in the summer but none of the other central defenders have appeared to impress Guardiola, with the Spaniard deploying Kolarov to pair with the English international most of the time.

Conte and Guardiola are likely to try and convince Bonucci to join their respective project in January. (Picture Courtesy - AFP/Getty Images)

Conte and Guardiola are likely to try and convince Bonucci to join their respective project in January. (Picture Courtesy – AFP/Getty Images)

The Citizens do have the option of Vincent Kompany but the City captain has been regularly marred with injuries throughout his career and Guardiola is likely to prefer a defender with better fitness levels as he attempts to revamp City with his coaching style.

The player is likely to command a transfer fee similar to the £50m price quoted by the media outlets in the summer transfer window, a figure both Chelsea and Manchester City would happily spend to secure a transfer for a player of Bonucci’s calibre.

Bonucci was at the centre of a three-club war in the summer with the Premier League trio of Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City battling it out for the player. Chelsea and City, though, were at different stages of the transfer window thought to be favourites to land the 29-year-old.

Leonardo Bonucci has recently revealed that he had offers from the Premier League and was indeed tempted by the prospect of playing in the England under a particular coach he chose not to name. One can speculate that it would be either Antonio Conte, under whom the player has played at Juventus and the Italian national team, while there were reports of the manager being Pep Guardiola.

While it is unclear on which manager the Italian was referring to, what is important is that Bonucci admitted to being tempted by a move to Premier League and come January, the 29-year-old might just decide to take the plunge if either City or Chelsea or both are to renew their interest.

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