The CEO of Manchester City confirms Leonard Bonucci wanted to trade in the white and black jersey for the EPL but Juventus were unwilling to sell their star defender.
With the arrival of Pep Guardiola to Manchester City over the summer, it was clear a wave of new players were find themselves targets of the highly touted Spanish manager. The likes of Nolito, Leroy Sane and Claudio Bravo all became Citizens either during or near the end of the transfer window. However, one area of the pitch which Guardiola desperately needed to improve, was in the heart of the defense, specifically in the center-back role. It was crucial for the new City boss to find a player who can build-up play out of the first phase and be a constant outlet for passes and play creation. Although Guardiola did find his man in Everton’s John Stones, there was another ball-playing center-back who had remained a constant yet unattainable figure at the top of the manager’s wishlist: Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci.
For almost the entirety of the summer transfer window, Manchester City delivered offers to the Juventus brass in hopes of convincing them to loosen their grip on the Italian defender but despite the advances, the Bianconeri shut the door on several occasions. As window inched closer to be closing, it became apparent to City that Bonucci would not budge from Turin and therefore, did not waste time in looking elsewhere. Fast forward two months and in a recent interview with Radio Catalunya, as per La Gazzetta dello Sport, City’s CEO Ferran Soriano revealed that the Italian International was open to the idea of moving to England but his employers labeled him as unmovable.
There are many players who want to join us and want to be managed by Pep Guardiola. Among them was Leonardo Bonucci, who called us to transfer to Manchester City. I spoke with Juventus Sporting Director Fabio Paratici but the answer was a definite no. They would not sell him.