Leonardo Bonucci has revealed how he was courted by Manchester City back in 2016 but eventually decided to stay with Juventus.
Leonardo Bonucci is one of the most revered defenders in world football, has seen clubs line up for his signature many times during his illustrious career. The 34-year-old centre-back has spent his entire playing career in Italy but could have moved on to another league when many opportunities arose.
The reputed defender has won numerous trophies playing for Juventus. Among those are many Serie A titles, domestic cups and even came close twice to win the Champions League crown, only to lose against Barcelona and Real Madrid in those finales.
Bonucci helped Italy win the UEFA Euro 2020 at Wembley back in the summer to cap off his illustrious career. Despite spending most of his career at Juventus, things have not gone so smoothly for the centre-back in Turin. He did get disillusioned with life there and abruptly left for AC Milan, spending the 2017/18 season at the San Siro.
However, as that particular season progressed, Bonucci admitted to having made a mistake leaving Juventus, and the club obliged to re-sign him next summer. Since then, the defender has reclaimed his place and still going strong at the age of 34.
Over the years, various clubs have tried to sign him away from Juventus. Without going into too much detail, Bonucci revealed the encounter with Manchester City and manager Pep Guardiola who wanted him in England. The Italian declined the offer and explained the reasons to stay put at the Allianz Arena. Goal.com put up some quotes from his talk with The Athletic.
Bonucci said, “I had this dream of being coached by Pep. The closest we came was in 2016. I was on the brink of joining City. We were down to the very last details, then Juventus decided not to sell. We decided to stay together. Then, when I went to AC Milan, I could have gone to City, but several things had to fall into place for it to happen.”
“I’d also given my word to Milan. Last year, I spoke to Pep again. He wanted me, but I told him: ‘Juventus is my home. I’m happy here. I feel at home here. I wanted to make up the ground I lost by going to Milan for a season. Becoming a symbol of Juventus again is the most exciting thing I could be doing in my career right now.”
Looking at how things panned out, it looks like neither Bonucci nor Manchester City would be dissatisfied with not having the transfer completed back in the day. Nevertheless, it will always remain a case of what could have been when it comes to the 34-year-old UEFA Euro 2020 winner and move to the Etihad.