Manchester City target Leonardo Bonucci has rejected claims that he has spoken to the Premier League club about a potential move in January, according to RAI (via FourFourTwo).
The Juventus defender is highly-rated in his homeland and has also been linked with a reunion with manager Antonio Conte at Chelsea, given the Blues’ early season struggles at the back.
However, that interest appears to have died down in recent times after Chelsea’s incredible run of form, which has seen them win five league games in a row, in which time they have scored 16 goals and conceded none.
Pep Guardiola may also be interested in strengthening his backline, with increasing concerns over captain Vincent Kompany’s persistent injuries, so could consider a move for the 29-year-old when the window reopens in January.
However, Bonucci has rejected claims from Manchester City’s chief executive Ferran Soriano that he contacted the English club prior to the season starting in August.
He told RAI: ‘I never called anybody and they never called me personally.
‘I feel I have the Juve shirt sewn to my body because I breathe it every day, but wearing the national team shirt is also an honour.
‘I will give all I have got to improve my qualities and be important for Juve and for the national team.’
This looks like a massive setback for manager Guardiola, who was likely hoping to reinforce his backline ahead of a shot at the Premier League and Champions League in the second half of the season.
The Man City boss oversaw an impressive 3-1 win over Barcelona last week, but they lost out on top spot in the Premier League this weekend after drawing 1-1 at home to newly-promoted Middlesbrough, a third successive home draw in the league.