According to multiple sources, Manchester City of the Premier League are pursuing Juventus central defender Leonardo Bonucci.
ESPN, SkySports, and the Guardian have all reported this week that City have made offers for the Juventus centerback, so far to no avail. Juventus recently rejected a 38 million pound offer for Bonucci.
That offer, according to multiple reports, is going up. The Guardian and ESPN report a 51 million pound offer from new manager Pep Guardiola may be reaching the Juventus front office soon, so Andrea Agnelli and company will have to make a choice: turn down a hefty price, or sell one of the best, if not the single best, defender in the world.
While Bionconeri fans can figure their club, who is not struggling financially, will not be selling a prized, beloved, centerpiece player, 51 million pounds is a lot of money. However, Juventus does not want to sell a player who is absolutely key to one of the best defensive lines in the world. While the transfer market is unpredictable, and strange things have happened before, it is safe to assume the Old Lady will not sell Bonucci.
However. If Juventus accepted the offer of £51m, and Bonucci went to the blue end of Manchester, Pep Guardiola would already be off to a stellar start as manager.
Leonardo Bonucci is only 29. He is one of the best defenders in the world. He has played in one of the best defensive lines in football. He is coming off a very strong performance for Italy, in the same roles, in Euro 2016. He has experience in the highest competitions with Juventus, and has succeeded time and time again against some of the best teams in the world, with the best attackers in the world. He has also succeeded with different coaches: under both Antonio Conte and Massimiliano Allegri, he has proved over and over that he is a force to be reckoned with, for both club and country.
In short, Bonucci is a battle-tested monster. And that is what Guardiola would get.
Bonucci is used to playing tactical football. Both of his previous coaches have been tactical geniuses, and Serie A is known for its tactical brand of football, as compared to the more counter-based, attacking league that is the Prem. Guardiola is no exception. He has proven himself to be one of the world’s best coaches, and is also a tactical genius. He has also called Bonucci “one of my favourite ever players.”
Looking at Manchester City’s defensive roster on their official website, they have Nicolas Otamendi, Gael Clichy, Jason Denayer, Aleksandar Kolarov, Vincent Kompany, Eliaquim Mangala, Bacary Sagna, and Pablo Zabaleta. In 2015-16, they kept 16 clean sheets, but still gave up about a goal per match. They conceded 41 goals total, and if they kept 16 clean sheets, that means they gave up 41 goals in 22 matches, which is closer to almost two goals a match. This defense, although they were not BAD in 2015, was sorely disappointing. There was a high amount of expectations for this bunch after winning the Premier League in 2014-15, and after pouring more than 44 million euros into the purchase of Otamendi, the defense was expected to be set. That was not the case.
With Bonucci, despite any and all the problems that plagued City in 2015-16, Guardiola has a lockdown defender who can fit into the system and the starting squad right away. Bonucci would not sit on the bench. He would take a spot in the center of the defense immediately. Vincent Kompany has been known to struggle with injury, and Otamendi was disappointing in 2015. Bonucci would remove the concern for one of the two centerback spots upon arrival. He would fit into Guardiola’s plan for Manchester City perfectly. The new manager has already signed midfielder Ilkay Gundogan from Borussia Dortmund and striker Nolito from Celta Vigo, so the addition of Bonucci would be a step up in the defense for Guardiola’s Manchester City.
Leonardo Bonucci is invaluable to Juventus. He is one of the best defenders in the world, for club and country. He has been a beast in the middle of the defense with different coaches, different tactics, and different teammates. He would be a step up in the defense for almost every team in the world. It is clear that Juventus does not want to sell him, and it is clear that Pep Guardiola wants him in his Manchester City squad to shore up his defense. While many would consider it to be a mistake to SELL Bonucci, even for 51 million pounds, many would also consider it to be worth every cent to BUY Bonucci, especially for a team that has a need at centerback.