Man City Opinion: Citizens should drop their interest in Leonardo Bonucci
According to the Manchester Evening News, reigning Premier League champions Manchester City are reportedly courting Juventus centre-back Leonardo Bonucci in the summer transfer window, with the report claiming that manager Pep Guardiola is a personal admirer of the 32-year-old Italian international.
Manchester Evening News understands that the Citizens are in the market for a new centre-back this summer, following the departure of club captain Vincent Kompany and they have identified Bonucci as someone who could add a lot of experience and quality to their squad.
Bonucci played 41 times for Juventus in all competitions this past season as the Old Lady won the Serie A title.
However, the same report claims that he might fall out-of-favour next term due to the arrival of Maurizio Sarri, who reportedly favours Daniele Rugani a lot more, having worked with him at Empoli previously.
Pretty much a household name in European football, the 32-year-old hardly needs an introduction to any football fan.
Bonucci has carved out a reputation for himself as one of the best defenders in the world over the years, having accumulated a grand total of 360 appearances for Juventus in all competitions till date.
A 7-time Serie A and 3-time Coppa Italia winner with Juventus, Bonucci has also tasted a lot of success on the international front with Italy.
Capped by his nation on 89 occasions at the international level, Bonucci was one of the driving forces behind Italy’s march to the final of Euro 2012, whilst also playing a key role in the third-place finish at the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup.
To put things into perspective, calling Bonucci’s calibre and experience as a defender into question would make little sense, given that he is proven at the highest level.
However, one cannot help but wonder as to why Man City, who generally do not show much interest in ageing international stalwarts, are so keen to acquire the services of the 32-year-old.
With all due respect to the Italian’s qualities and achievements, Man City’s links with the centre-back sound a bit absurd, to be honest. The Citizens are not really known for investing in players who are above the age of 30.
Bonucci, even though he is nearing the twilight of his career, is likely to command a significant transfer fee. And given that his resale value would be next to nothing in the years to come, City are unlikely to have a chance of recouping the money that they spend to bring him to the club.
It is true that Man City need to bring in a new centre-back to cover for the departure of Kompany and Bonucci certainly fits the bill in terms of experience and quality, but the 32-year-old would hardly offer a long-term solution.
Also, he has never played in England before and we have often seen in the past that even the best of players in the Serie A or the La Liga struggle to get to grips with the tempo and dynamism of the Premier League.
Nicolas Otamendi is also on the other side of 30 and the Argentine’s future at the Etihad still remains very much up in the air, whilst John Stones is yet to evolve into a top-quality centre-back due to his propensity for letting the team down with lapses in concentration.
As things stand, Aymeric Laporte seems to be the only centre-back in City’s ranks without a genuine problem and that is certainly not a good sign for Pep Guardiola moving forward.
Suffice to say, City need to bring in a young and promising centre-back, with a view to grooming him for the future, or they might also choose to spend big and bring in a proven world-class replacement for Kompany.
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Leonardo Bonucci falls in the latter bracket but he is pretty much past his prime and the Citizens cannot afford to play such a gamble if they are really serious about continuing their dominance in English football.