Chelsea and Manchester City target Leonardo Bonucci has dropped a hint over a potential move to the English Premier League
Leonardo Bonucci has opened the door to a potential move to the Premier League after confessing his love for English football, while also admitting that he considers Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola one of the best in the world and that the praise from Guardiola encourages him.
“It [the English game] fascinates me. When I can, I watch English games, and not only for the quality of the players on display,” he said, according to the Sun. “I’m hot headed and I love the passion that exudes from their packed stands. It’s for that kind of thing that I’m the first on the training pitch and the last to return to the changing room.”
“When one of the best managers in the world [Guardiola] says you’re one of his favourite players, you act like it’s nothing. But you still can’t help but have a smile on your face. This praise only confirms my important progress. It’s always nice.”
Bonucci signed for Juventus back in 2010 for a fee of €15.5 million from Bari and the 29-year old has gone on to become one of the best defenders in Europe, having been a key member of both Juventus as well as the Italian national side.
It was reported last month that Chelsea and Manchester City were set to go head-to-head for the Italian international in the summer, with both sides looking to sign a world class central defender to improve their teams.
Chelsea have been on the lookout for a central defender for some time now and despite the fact that David Luiz was only signed this summer from Paris Saint-Germain for a fee of €40 million, the Blues will need more options next season as they look to challenge on all fronts.
John Terry is set to finally leave the club at the end of the season with his contract set to expire and the 36-year old has not been offered a new contract as yet. Bonucci is a leader on the pitch and in the dressing room and could fill the void left by the legendary Englishman.
Manchester City are also in dire need of improvements to their squad, particularly in defence. Vincent Kompany has only managed a combined 17 appearances in the Premier League over the last two years and at 31 years of age, it is unlikely that his injury problems will disappear.
The experiment with Aleksandr Kolarov at centre back has not worked out for Guardiola and Nicolas Otamendi has still looked unconvincing and has made several errors already this season. City need a leader to step in and that is exactly what Bonucci is.
Juventus will be under no pressure to sell as Bonucci signed a new contract in December that ties him down to the Bianconeri until 2021. But given that he is 29 already, the Italian side might be willing to part with him for a large enough sum, something both Chelsea and City are capable of offering.