Barcelona have reportedly joined the race to sign Leonardo Bonucci and are lining up a summer move for the Juventus defender.
Spanish publication Don Balon have reported that Barcelona have entered the race to sign Leonardo Bonucci in the summer, with a move being lined up for the Juventus centre-back. Chelsea and Manchester City are also reportedly tracking the Italy international for a summer move.
Bonucci has been one of the pillars of Juventus’ success in recent seasons, ever present at the back. He has forged one of the most solid defensive partnerships in the world with Giorgio Chiellini and Andrea Barzagli, with the trio leading Italy to much success as well.
Juventus are set to win their sixth Serie A title in a row in 2016/17 and Bonucci has been integral to their fortunes this season as well. Despite all the positives though, Bonucci has never been more on the edge at the Juventus Stadium.
That is because his relationship with manager Massimiliano Allegri has soured following an on-field spat last month. Ever since then Bonucci has been linked with a move away from Turin in the summer, and even though he pledged his future to the Bianconeri, a summer transfer is looking highly likely.
Chelsea and Manchester City have been long-time admirers of Bonucci, and the two English clubs also made attempts to sign him last summer before a move failed to materialise. But if recent reports are anything to go by, they are back in the market for the 29-year-old.
Chelsea manager, Antonio Conte is known to be a big fan of Bonucci’s talents having previously managed him as the Juventus and Italy boss. Reports claim that the Italian tactician is set to reinforce several positions in the summer, and Bonucci has been identified as the number one target in defence.
Meanwhile, Manchester City are desperate to sign a centre-back in the summer transfer window following several disastrous showings at the back this season. Pep Guardiola is seriously short on options in defence currently, and Bonucci’s abilities on the ball make him the perfect target for the City boss.
However, the two English heavyweights are set to face competition in the form of Barcelona who will also enter the market for a central defender in the summer. That is because Jeremy Mathieu has proven to be an unreliable presence at the back, with Javier Mascherano being troubled by a spate of injuries.
That has often left Luis Enrique with just Gerard Pique and Samuel Umtiti to choose from, and having recently switched to a back-three, there is a severe need for a top quality centre-back. In addition to that, Pique has also been accused of focusing too much on matters other than football.
The possible acquisition of Bonucci is, thus, also being eyed as a way to get Pique to concentrate more on footballing matters. Moreover, Bonucci is also a player who would fit seamlessly in Barcelona’s system, making this a perfect match for all the concerned parties.
Juventus are set to face Barcelona in the quarterfinals of the Champions League in April, and his performances over the two legs could go a long way in determining whether the Blaugrana make a concrete offer to sign the Italy international in the summer.
Real Madrid have also previously been linked with a move for Bonucci and it remains to be seen if Los Blancos spring back into action for him after seeing their bitter rivals make a move for him.