Rumour: Leonardo Bonucci linked with Manchester United move

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With the ink not yet dry on the transfer of Paul Pogba, 23, Manchester United are set to raid Juventus once more. This time, central defender Leonardo Bonucci, 29, is the target.

Sources close to the club have told ESPN that United broached the subject during negotiations over Pogba and their interest was not deterred by the response.

The Italian international was a target for Manchester City earlier in the summer but Juventus fended off that interest by slapping a £50m valuation on the player. Pep Guardiola views Everton’s John Stones, 22, as a better investment for a similar fee.

Succeeding in signing Bonucci would take Jose Mourinho’s summer spending to over £200m, a sign that the absence of Champions League football has not damaged the club’s commercial success.

Mourinho is determined to strengthen the spine of his team and Bonucci has been identified as a significant upgrade on the existing squad. The Portuguese manager has been unimpressed by the lack of depth in the squad he inherited from Louis Van Gaal since taking over as United manager.

Dutch international Daley Blind, 26, lacks the physical presence Mourinho covets in central defenders whilst Phil Jones, 24, is too error-prone, feeding uncertainty in his pairing with England’s Chris Smalling, 26.

Bonucci has yet to reveal his own plans for next season but the speculation surrounding his future is only going to intensify once the Pogba move is sealed.

 

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