Jose Mourinho has put pressure on Manchester United to complete the deal for Leonardo Bonucci as soon as possible to avoid a transfer auction, according to reports. The Italian centre-back is highly tipped to leave AC Milan following a disastrous campaign with a host of clubs reportedly vying for his signature.
Even though Manchester United are believed to be front-runners in the race to sign Bonucci this summer, the Red Devils could face stiff competition from their cross-town rivals Manchester City.
The Premier League champions are also keen on bolstering their defence for next season, despite a strong display in the league last term. And the Sky Blues is ready to rival United for the services of the Italian centre-back.
In fact, head coach Pep Guardiola is believed to be a long-term admirer of Bonucci, who gained significant popularity during his time at Juventus. However, that popularity took a drastic hit when the defender made the move to Milan last summer for a whopping fee of €42m.
After being appointed as the new Milan captain, just weeks after his arriving at his new club, Bonucci well and truly failed to replicate his performances at Juventus as AC Milan finished in a disappointing sixth position in the final league standings.
Manchester City, on the other hand, are expected to undergo another busy transfer window as Guardiola looks to replace a few of his ageing key players. The likes of Vincent Kompany, Fernandinho and David Silva are already on the final stage of their respective careers and it’s imperative that the Sky Blues manage to bring in proper replacements as soon as possible.
Kompany, in particular, has shown clear signs of deterioration last season. The Belgian international has also missed a chunk of the past couple of seasons due to frequent injuries. In addition, key defender Nicolas Otamendi has been horrible in the ongoing FIFA World Cup as Argentina slumped to a 4:3 defeat in a Round of 16 games against France.
Therefore, Pep Guardiola will be keen to secure the services of an experienced defender, who can not only replace Vincent Kompany but also provide more security in defence amidst Otamendi’s poor form. And thus, Leonardo Bonucci is a viable target for the Premier League champions.
Hardened by years of experience in the Italian top flight, the Milan defender could prove to be a smart signing from Manchester City. However, the Sky Blues might have to splash a lot of sum in order to secure his services especially with the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea and PSG vying for signature this summer.