The Deal That Nearly Went Through?
Recent reports claim that Italian defender Leonardo Bonucci was close to joining the English champions over the summer and a deal was agreed upon. The only thing that halted the transfer was the following up of the interest in the centre-back and he eventually joined rivals AC Milan. The former Juventus defender was instrumental in defense for the Italian champions leading them to six Serie A titles and two Champions League finals and formed a key partnership at the club with central defenders Andrea Barzagli and Georgio Chiellini.
Bonucci joined AC Milan this summer when he made the switch for €42 million in a shock move but it has not quite clicked for him as he would have liked. The 30 year old has been caught out in different positions on many occasions and hasn’t established him as a leader in the Milan side. His problems off the football pitch, including his son’s health issues, have also contributed to his downfall.
However, Chelsea were keen on bringing in re-enforcements over the summer transfer window after losing club legend John Terry to Aston Villa and a deal behind closed doors was reportedly agreed upon for Bonucci to be the Englishman’s replacement. An informal verbal deal was agreed upon, but apparently, Chelsea did not follow through with solidarity and the transfer fizzled out.
Chelsea boss Antonio Conte had met with officials in Turin but did not agree to bring Bonucci to London in a formal meeting. Bonucci, however, has always been admired by his former national manager and has stated that he was a big help for him during the pair’s stint for the Italian national side and three seasons at Juventus and would love to work with him again.
“I have been coached by some great coaches.” Said Bonucci.
“Each one of them has given me something but the best one and the manager that has given me the most is Conte. I could work every day with him and I have improved as a player and as a human being.” He added.
While the Chelsea faithful have been rather frustrated by the lack of signings at the club, they would be happy that they purchased Antonio Rudiger rather than Bonucci in terms of form at the moment. Rudiger has been rather stable and helped Chelsea in defense while Bonucci has literally struggled to get the Rossoneri back to their glory days.
Is Chelsea Ready For Manchester United?
The 3-0 loss to Roma in mid-week would have raised some concerns over the form of the west London outfit, though it could be part of the huge plan to take all three points from the Bridge, at the weekend. One thing that is obviously going to be crucial is the fact that the game will be played in the home of the Blues, which can once again prove to be a fortress for the Londoners, if Conte’s tactics work out on the night.
With both manager’s having a strong defensive strategy, hopefully there are goals in the game, though the fixture will surely be highly intense.