Chelsea are reportedly poised to make a move for AC Milan star Leonardo Bonucci, but face stiff competition from PSG in his pursuit.
Chelsea are exploring the possibility of signing experienced Italian defender Leonardo Bonucci from AC Milan this summer, according to reports from Italian outlet Corriere dello Sport.
However, the Blues will have to battle it out against French heavyweights Paris Saint-Germain, who are also interested in the centre-back.
Milan find themselves in a bit of a sticky situation financially, after former owner Li Yonghong missed the deadline to pay back part of a £265 million loan. Currently being controlled by US-based hedge fund Elliott Management, the Italian giants have also been banned from participating in the UEFA Europa League for breaching Financial Fair Play rules after their splurge in the market last summer.
As a result, they are understood to be looking to offload a number of the high-profile arrivals from last year, including Bonucci as getting his £100,000-a-week wages off the book would help their bid of getting things in order financially.
The 31-year-old centre-half went on to make 51 appearances last season for AC Milan, following his £35 million move from Juventus, scoring two goals and setting up one more, as the Rossoneri finished sixth in the Serie A.
And Chelsea believe that the seasoned campaigner will be a valuable addition to the ranks, as they look to bounce back from what was an underwhelming 2017-18 campaign, despite their FA Cup triumph. The Blues have reached an agreement to let go of manager Antonio Conte and are understood to be closing in on the appointment of Maurizio Sarri as their new boss.
It is not the first time Chelsea have been linked with Bonucci. Conte himself was keen on landing the defender during the January window earlier this year, while there was interest in the 31-year-old last summer as well, before he chose to move to AC Milan.
Given the question marks over the futures of David Luiz and Gary Cahill at Stamford Bridge, it makes sense that the West Londoners are looking to boost up their defensive options with a seasoned campaigner like Bonucci. The 31-year-old may not have had the best of campaigns in Milan last time out, but is still regarded as one of the finest defenders in the game currently.
However, with PSG also waiting in the wings, the move might not be as straight-forward as they would wish. Les Parisiens have just three senior central defenders in the squad in Thiago Silva, Marquinhos and Presnel Kimpembe. Considering that Silva will be turning 34 in a couple of months, it isn’t a surprise that PSG too, are looking at someone proven and established like Bonucci to add to their ranks.
Despite signing only last summer and still having four years left on his contract, Bonucci’s exit from San Siro looks a strong possibility with Chelsea and PSG set to enter a transfer tug-of-war for his services.