New Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho is ready to rival his former club Chelsea for the signature of Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci.
Mourinho will look to rebuild his defence and has has already signing Eric Bailly, from Villarreal for £30 million. But despite the big money signing Mourinho still wants to strengthen this position.
According to the Daily Star Mourinho is now seeking experience following the arrival of 22-year-old Bailly and will look to sign Bonucci, who fits the bill.
29-year-old Bonucci is under contract with the Italian giants until 2020 having signed a new £70,000 per week contract last year.
However, United could easily offer a big increase on his current wages to prize him away from Juventus.
Bonucci has been a rock in Juventus’ success and has been at the heart of the team for many seasons. Bonucci has been with the club since 2010 after his arrival from Bari, he has gone on to play 198 games for the club scoring 12 goals. Bonucci has also represented Italy 59 times scoring three goals.
Jose Mourinho will certainly look to sign Bonucci to start alongside Chris Smalling or Bailly, we take a look at how Bonucci compared with Smalling last season. Smalling had another good season for United and was certainly a rock at the back for them, he managed 1.11 tackles per 90 minutes which puts him ahead of Bonucci who managed 0.80. Both defenders stand over 6ft which helps both players win aerial duels, Smalling won 63.68% of aerial duels last season whilst Bonucci won 56.79%. There are many aspects to being a complete defender with blocks being one of them, Smalling again comes out on top managing 0.54 which once again puts him ahead of Bonucci who managed just 0.37. Another aspect is interceptions, Smalling who has arguably been United’s best player at times managed 2.77 interceptions which one again shows why he was so important to the club last season, Bonucci is again second with 2.34. Smalling completes a full house (surprisingly) in total defence score managing 16.03 which is once again superior to Bonucci who is just behind on 14.12. Is he overhyped?
The Italian club would command a fee of around £25 million for Bonucci’s services, a fee that would easily be funded for Mourinho to sign him.
Juventus reportedly value Bonucci closer to £50 million, but it is unlikely they would receive such a high fee given his age, even if Bonccuci is one of Europe’s best defenders.
Italian boss Antonio Conte is also interested in the possibility of linking up with his national player Bonucci, with Manchester City also interested in the Italian hard-man after their deal for Laporte seems to have collapsed.