Juventus are reportedly set to demand a world record transfer fee for Leonardo Bonucci from Manchester City.

According a report in the Daily Telegraph, Manchester City will have to pay a world record transfer fee for a defender in order to secure the services of Leonardo Bonucci in the summer. Chelsea and Manchester United are also interested in signing the Juventus centre-back.

Bonucci has been the bedrock of the Juventus defence for several years now, combining with the likes of Giorgio Chiellini and Andrea Barzagli to complement the assured presence of Gianluigi Buffon between the sticks.

Numbers prove the same, with Juventus conceding just 30 goals in 47 games this season, keeping 25 clean sheets in the process. With Juventus set to seal a sixth consecutive Scudetto this season, Bonucci, alongside his defensive partners have played a fundamental role in the club’s success.

Suffice to say, the 29-year-old is rightly rated as one of the best defenders in the world right now. With that tag, comes the attention of some of the best clubs in the world. And three of the biggest in England are keen on signing the Italy international in the summer.

Manchester City and Chelsea were the first two English clubs to register an interest in Bonucci, and now Manchester United have entered the fray as well, setting up a potential three-way battle to land the centre-back in the summer.

Bonucci won't come cheap. (Photo courtesy - Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images)

Bonucci won’t come cheap. (Photo courtesy – Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images)

Manchester City, in fact, tried signing Bonucci last summer as well, before they were driven away by Juventus’ asking price of £50 million. However, the club has continued to retain an interest in the Italian after what has been a dismal defensive return by Pep Guardiola’s side this season.

John Stones was bought from Everton last summer to much excitement, but he has failed to settle quickly at the Etihad. Additionally, Nicolas Otamendi has been inconsistent, while Eliaquim Mangala’s move has been a resounding failure.

With Vincent Kompany struggling for fitness for large parts of the season, there is an urgent need to acquire a top quality centre-back in the summer. However, Chelsea are eager to land Bonucci as well, with Antonio Conte keen to reunite with his former Juventus and Italy charge.

The Chelsea boss hasn’t been faced with problems in his defence this season, but with John Terry set to end his glittering career with the club at the end of the season; coupled with Gary Cahill being on the wrong side of 30, there is a need to buy an experienced defender in the summer to complement the youth of Kurt Zouma.

Meanwhile, Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho is also believed to be on the lookout of a world class defender, despite having four centre-backs at his disposal. However, it goes without saying that Bonucci would prove to be an upgrade on his current options, and a player who would add a lot of value at Old Trafford.

Meanwhile, Bonucci has been rumoured to be on the exit trail at Juventus ever since he had a public spat with manager Massimiliano Allegri two months ago. The defender even dropped a hint at a potential move to the Premier League as he confessed his love for English football.

Manchester City are believed to be in the driver’s seat to secure the services of Bonucci in the summer transfer window. But, they will have to shell out a sum that eclipses the £50 million that PSG paid to acquire David Luiz from Chelsea in 2014.

The amount is unlikely to ward off City in their pursuit of Bonucci this time around, though, as they seem to be desperate to sign a centre-back. The price tag should not deter Manchester United and Chelsea either, and it will be interesting to see where Bonucci heads off to if he leaves Juventus in the summer.

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