Juventus have rejected a huge €45m bid from Manchester City for star defender Leonardo Bonucci, a player who has been heavily linked with Chelsea ever since it was confirmed departing Italy nation team coach Antonio Conte would be taking over at Stamford Bridge.
According to Tuttosport, City were met with a swift ‘no thanks’ when they presented Juve with the formal offer for Bonucci.
The two-time Premier League champions were already believed to have offered the player himself a handsome and lucrative five-year contract worth a total of €35m between now and 2021 – the equivalent of £115,000 per week.
Sky Sports sources have also since piled in to doubly confirm that City’s sizeable bid was rejected.
The suggestion from Tuttosport is that the firm interest in Bonucci could yet prompt Juve to offer the 29-year-old centre-back a revised and improved contract with a 12-month extension that would tie him to the club until 2021.
A centre-back remains very much a priority for City and new boss Pep Guardiola this summer. So far, new arrivals in the shape of Ilkay Gundogan, Nolito and Oleksandr Zinchenko have only addressed needs in midfield and attacking areas.
Injury prone captain Vincent Kompany is set to be missing for the first few weeks of the new season, while there remain significant doubts over the ability of Eliaquim Mangala and Nicolas Otamendi to step up and perform on a consistent basis. Martin Demichelis has already left.
Primary target Aymeric Laporte recently signed a new contract with Athletic Bilbao that saw his release clause immediately jump to an initial €65m – the Basque club are notorious for not accepting anything less than full release clause value.
John Stones is another target. The most recent reports would suggest that he is keen to leave Everton having been chased by Chelsea all last summer, but it will most likely take an offer of up to £50m to make a deal happen – a record amount for a British defender.
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