Could Juventus be willing to part with defender Leonardo Bonucci? The Express seem to think so.
According to Joe Short, the Blues have been approached over a £50million deal.
He writes: “The Serie A champions are said to be keen on cashing in on Bonucci, whose value has increased amid interest from City and the Blues.
“New Chelsea manager Antonio Conte is a known fan of the centre-back, who has previously played under the boss at Italy and Juve.
“But the MEN claim City manager Pep Guardiola is determined to land his man and has already tabled a £38m bid.
“According to the report, contact was made by a third party seeking to unearth genuine interest in the 29-year-old.
“Juve are unwilling to listen to offers below the £50m mark and recently signed Bayern Munich's Medhi Benatia in a move that could signal the Italian's departure.
“Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport claim Juve are unwilling to increase Bonucci's wages despite being aware of interest from the Premier League.
“City are prepared to hand Bonucci a five-year contract worth £6.9m a season, or £132,000 a week.
“And that would trump the current £3.2m-a-season deal he earns in Turin.”
However, Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri has cautioned Bonucci (and seemingly United-bound Paul Pogba) that moving to the Premier League would mean leaving one of ‘the top four European clubs.’
Quoted in an article on Four Four Two, he states: "I am calm about the English rumours.
"Anyone who has the opportunity to leave Juventus has to consider things very carefully, because right now Juve are among the top four European clubs.
"This is not a selling club that just lets its players go.
"We have grown in terms of appeal and awareness of our own capabilities.”
Meanwhile, the Daily Star claim City are ready to battle United for Reece Oxford’s signature.
Alex Wood reports: “Scouts from City, Tottenham and Manchester United reportedly watched the 17-year-old play for England U-19s against Holland on Friday.
“Bundesliga side Red Bull Leipzig have reportedly had a £10m offer turned down by West Ham, but other clubs are still circling.
“Oxford has two years left on his current contract but that looks unlikely to deter any potential suitors.”
Elsewhere, Stuart Brennan of the Manchester Evening News believes Pablo Zabaleta deserves another year at the club, following speculation the Argentine could leave.
He scribes: “The iconic Blues defender has been written off by some, after a season which was blighted by injury.
“And it has been presumed that the Argentina international will make way for a younger, thrusting player and City would let him go, albeit it with a heavy heart.
“No-one could blame him if he accepted an attractive offer from Italy, with Roma and Inter Milan both interested, but if he does decide to stay, Zabaleta – more than anyone – should be given every chance.
“Suggestions that he is finished at the top level are premature, even if there were times towards the end of last season when it did appear he was running in treacle – but to say that was a clear sign that his career is on a slippery downward slope is unfair.
“Despite his unswerving commitment to the Blues cause, often evident in the form of head bandages and facial scars, Zabaleta has had a very good injury record since he joined the club eight years ago.
“But the amount of football he has played is phenomenal, especially in a position which, under Manuel Pellegrini and Roberto Mancini, was one of the most high-energy on the pitch.
“Something had to give.
“Given Zabaleta's will to win, his love for the club and his utterly professional approach to everything he does, do not back against him emerging at the top of that heap of players in the coming weeks.”
In other news, after it was reported yesterday Wilfried Bony could be on his way to Everton as part of a deal to bring John Stones to City, today the Boot Room have penned an article on why the Ivorian would be a good fit at Goodison Park.
The piece reads: “Bony is a limited, but often very effective, forward who could enhance Everton’s forward line.
“His goalscoring numbers tell their own story. Bony bagged 22 goals in 48 league starts for Sparta Prague, 46 in 62 for Vitesse Arnhem and 25 in 43 for Swansea City.
“At 27, he still has a handful of good seasons left in him. Goalscoring ratios such as those quoted above are highly sought after, and clubs scour the continent armed with bulging pockets trying to procure a reliable goal-getter.”
Finally, United’s Juan Mata has been discussing the upcoming pre-season Manchester derby in China, insisting it is hard to think of the game as a friendly.
He told the Club’s official website: “It’ll be special for sure. There are a lot of supporters for United and City in China. It’ll be a different derby but it’ll nice for the fans.
“At this stage the most important thing isn’t the result but to get fit physically and mentally, but it’s difficult to have a friendly game against City or teams like this.”
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