Date: 3rd July 2019 at 5:19pm
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Reports have emerged that Manchester City are keen to add Leonardo Bonucci to their side – as they are prepared to allow Manchester United to sign Harry Maguire.

It seems Pep Guardiola is prepared to move on from Maguire in his search for a replacement for Vincent Kompany and is now looking towards the classy Bonucci.

Signing the 32-year-old Italian, however, may not only be Vincent Kompany’s replacement but he could also put John Stones’ place under threat.

Stones found himself dropped in the second half of the season as Guardiola favoured the experience of Kompany to see City through to yet another Premier League title.

The England international also had a brief spell as a defensive midfielder due to an injury to Fernandinho – the experiment was not successful as City lost to both Crystal Palace and Leicester City.

His England performances at the Nations League are hardly going to help his cause – Stones had a nightmare against the Netherlands, finding himself at fault for the second goal England conceded.

These mistakes though, are not just odd blips they have happened consistently throughout his career for both City and Everton, and it is unclear how long Guardiola will put up with them.

Bonucci, on the other hand, is one of the best centre backs in the world and would represent a significant upgrade on Stones – in his time at Juventus he has won 14 trophies, so he is a serial winner.

The key element of Bonucci’s play that will interest Guardiola is his ability on the ball, last season the Italian averaged 5.7 successful long balls per game and an overall pass completion rate of 86.8%.

Bonucci is also extremely confident at carrying the ball out from the back and can often be seen galloping up the field for both Italy and Juventus – that ability to carry the ball up the field will appeal to Guardiola as it will allow his side to squeeze their opponents even higher up the pitch.

The Italian who is available for a reported £45m, would add some real class to City’s backline and could be an ideal replacement for Kompany and, of course, it could also spell the end of Stones as Guardiola may be now fed up with his constant errors.

 

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