Chris Brunskill Ltd/Getty Images
Manchester City will reportedly need to make Juventus centre-back Leonardo Bonucci the world’s most expensive defender in order to land his services. Meanwhile, teams in Spain and Italy are said to be interested in signing Jesus Navas.
According to the Telegraph‘s James Ducker, any deal to sign Bonucci could exceed the £50 million move that took David Luiz to Paris Saint-Germain in 2014, and a “well-placed source” was quoted in the report as saying: “City want Bonucci. Centre-half has been a problem position for the club and they know they need to get it right this summer.”
The Italy international is said to now be a priority signing for City manager Pep Guardiola after playing a key role in knocking the Spaniard’s former club, Barcelona, out of the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals.
Bonucci looked assured as Juve managed to keep back-to-back clean sheets against a team comprising Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar, earning major plaudits from blogger Liam Canning in the process:
Liam Canning @LiamPaulCanning
World-class performance from Juventus. They have managed this game so professionally. Chiellini and Bonucci unbelievably diligent.
4/19/2017, 8:36:54 PM
City, meanwhile, have only recently welcomed captain Vincent Kompany back into their ranks following a lengthy injury lay-off, with left-back Aleksandar Kolarov even forced to deputise in the middle during his absence.
Guardiola looks to have his Citizens operating as desired in attack, by and large, although BBC Sport’s Simon Stone believes the defence is in need of improvement:
Simon Stone @sistoney67
@Jdecourcey624 @ChelseaFC City have quality squad but defence weak at highest level as Monaco proved.
4/11/2017, 8:01:23 PM
The Premier League powerhouse spent big to bring John Stones to the Etihad Stadium from Everton last summer, and Bonucci could be another expenditure costing more than £50 million, despite turning 30 next month.
Nevertheless, City appear to feel the outlay would be worth it for a central defender who has earned 69 caps for Italy, made more than 300 appearances for the Bianconeri and comes highly rated by Di Marzio’s David Amoyal:
David Amoyal @DavidAmoyal
Chiellini and Bonucci put in an absolute master class these two matches while Alex Sandro was superb containing Messi
4/19/2017, 8:38:18 PM
Elsewhere, Sport Witness cited reports from Spanish daily Marca and Italian newspaper Il Messaggero, which have linked fringe figure Navas with moves to AS Roma and Sevilla, respectively.
It’s been four years since the winger arrived at the Etihad Stadium from Sevilla, and ESPN’s Richard Jolly noted it’s not been as successful as he might have hoped following his first league goal for the club since 2013-14:
Richard Jolly @RichJolly
Jesus Navas is the last Manchester City player to touch the ball before they score. Not quite his first PL goal for 1177 days.
4/8/2017, 2:33:15 PM
The 31-year-old will be available on a free transfer, and while the Citizens may miss out on a fee for the player, having his slot in the squad free could be useful to their plans for summer renovations.
Roma seem to have the edge in the race and are said to have offered Navas a three-year deal, as former Sevilla director of football Monchi, who appears set for a move to the Stadio Olimpico, looks to stage a reunion.