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Squawka: Man City set to up Bonucci pursuit?

WANTED MAN? Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci

WANTED MAN? Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci

With the international break over, thoughts turn to the battle for a top four finish along with a couple of speculative transfer rumours.

We’ll start with the latter and a now long-running story linking City with Italian defender Leonardo Bonucci.

One of the most coveted centre-halves in Europe, Bonucci is rumoured to be a top priority for both City and Chelsea with the Premier League giants reportedly set to go head-to-head this summer in a bid to sign the Juventus star.

Squawka report: “Manchester City are reportedly preparing a €60 million (£52m) bid to sign Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci.

“The 29-year-old rejected a move to the Etihad Stadium last summer as manager Pep Guardiola hoped to lure the centre-back to the Premier League following an impressive Euro 2016 campaign with Italy.

“Earlier this month, Bonucci’s wife admitted that they had ‘talked about it’ but decided to stay in Turin after a day of discussion.

“The five-time Serie A winner signed a new contract with Juventus until 2021 in December, however, that has done little to persuade his suitors in England’s top tier to prioritise other targets.

“As reported by Italian publication Calcio Mercato, City are ready to tempt Juventus and Bonucci with another huge offer at the end of the season.”

No doubt that story will run and ruin…

Meanwhile Sports Witness believe City will try and hijack an alleged agreement with Milan for Schalke star Saed Kolasinac.

They write: “Bild made it abundantly clear that should Manchester City put a deal forward it would be hard for Kolasinac to say no.

“On Tuesday Italy’s Calciomercato claim AC Milan have come to a ‘draft agreement’ on a transfer for Kolasinac, to start when his Schalke contract ends. That agreement has been made with the player’s agent, who Calciomercato don’t name.

“Calciomercato mention English interest, although they don’t name Manchester City or anyone else, but they state Milan have priority. The offer is said to be €2m per year after tax, but before bonuses, on a four-year contract.

“Those figures are small compared to what Kolasinac could get at Manchester City if Guardiola really wants him. It would be hard to imagine Milan winning if up against City, but it’s likely the Premier League club need to work quickly.”

Moving on to Sunday’s game at the Emirates and Arsenal’s Alex Iwobi believes it’s time for the Gunners to get back to their best against City.

The recent poor form has seen Arsene Wenger’s men drop to sixth in the Premier League and Iwobi says a good result against the Blues could be a springboard to a strong run-in.

Iwobi told Sky Sports News HQ. "We need to change that record. That's in the past though - we need to prepare for the present. I believe with the players we've got - we've been working hard - that we can do it.

"We've not been doing as well as we should've been doing. But every team goes through a rough spell and it's ours at the moment. I'm sure we'll bounce back.

"Judging on how everyone did on international duty - everybody did well - then the confidence will slowly be getting back. We'll prepare this week and we'll do our best. Hopefully we can come out with the result we need.

"Every game is vital - we're taking it game-by-game. We just need to concentrate, prepare right and do the job."

Finally, The Metro suggest Gunners’ star man Alexis Sanchez could face a late fitness test ahead of the game,

They write: “The forward was forced off in the Gunners’ 3-1 defeat at West Brom with an ankle injury but played the full 90 minutes in both of Chile’s matches during the international break.

“Sanchez impressed in both games for his country, getting a goal and an assist against Venezuela, but Arsenal remain concerned with the 28-year-old’s fitness levels.

“The Sun suggest he will be assessed before the much-anticipated game with Manchester City at the Emirates this weekend.”

That’s all for today – stay tuned to our live rolling news feed on mancity.com for all things City throughout the day.

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