Barcelona have hit a roadblock in their pursuit of Leonardo Bonucci, with the Juventus defender reportedly rejecting their contract offer.
According to a report in TransferMarketWeb, Barcelona have suffered a huge blow in their attempt at landing Leonardo Bonucci in the summer transfer window. The Juventus defender has turned down the Catalan club’s offer and looks likely to stay with the Italian champions beyond the summer.
Bonucci has been one of the pillars of The Old Lady’s success in the last few seasons, with the Serie A giants clinching the league title in each of the last six campaigns. In fact, with defence being the strongest suit for Bianconeri, the player has been an instrumental figure for them.
Bonucci, in partnership with Giorgio Chiellini and Andrea Barzagli, has forged one of the most solid central defensive units in the world that has led both Juventus and Italy to much success. However, a public spat with Massimiliano Allegri had threatened to put his Juventus future in jeopardy.
The aforementioned incident saw Bonucci being heavily linked to a move away from Turin, with some of the most prominent names registering an interest in signing him – La Liga heavyweights Barcelona being one of them.
The Catalan club endured an underwhelming 2016/17 season as they relinquished their La Liga title to bitter rivals Real Madrid, and also saw Los Blancos defend their UEFA Champions League title, having bowed out of the competition in the quarterfinals.
Defence was one of the problem areas for Blaugrana over the course of the campaign as Javier Mascherano was troubled by a spate of injuries while Jeremy Mathieu proved to be an unreliable presence at the back. The French centre-back is currently on trial at Sporting Lisbon and is set to leave Barcelona this summer.
Meanwhile, Gerard Pique was inconsistent over the course of the campaign as well, thus prompting newly appointed Barcelona manager, Ernesto Valverde to turn his attention towards Bonucci. The player can potentially fit seamlessly into Barcelona’s style of play with his ability on the ball.
He is also a threatening presence in set piece situations, having scored 5 goals in the recently concluded season. The player, however, seems to have turned over a new leaf at Juventus and is now keen to stay at the newly-christened Allianz Stadium, thereby rejecting Barcelona’s offer to sign him this summer.
The Blaugrana, thus, must now set their sights elsewhere in pursuit of a defensive reinforcement, as will the other suitors who were in hot pursuit of the player in recent months.