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Man City lining up summer move for Juventus' Leonardo Bonucci - source

With rumours swirling over a few big names in football, Stevie Nicol assesses which may make way for Stamford Bridge.

Manchester City are ready to make a fresh move for Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci after making him their top defensive target this summer, a source has told ESPN FC.

City boss Pep Guardiola is set to overhaul his defence at the end of the season and Bonucci, who is regarded as one of the best centre-backs in the world, has been identified as a top priority.

The Italy international was pursued by City last summer, although the club never made an official bid for him, with the 29-year-old saying he was tempted by the interest.

Bonucci signed a contract extension until 2021 with Juve in December, but he hinted last week that he could now be prepared to make a move to England after telling So Foot that the Premier League "fascinates" him.

Guardiola described Bonucci as "one of my favourite ever players" when he was in charge of Bayern Munich and now wants to take him to the Etihad Stadium after a disappointing season that has seen City fail to mount a significant challenge for the Premier League or Champions League.

Leonardo Bunocci
Leonardo Bonucci was linked with a move to Manchester City last summer.

However, City could face competition for the defender's signature from Chelsea, with his former Juve boss Antonio Conte reportedly interested in luring him to Stamford Bridge.

Juve have an ageing defence and could be tempted to cash in on a player who turns 30 in May.

The Serie A champions showed their defensive qualities again as they kept a clean sheet against Barcelona in both legs of their Champions League quarterfinals.

But they could be set to freshen up a defence consisting of 35-year-old Andrea Barzagli, Dani Alves and Stephan Lichtsteiner, who are both 33, and Giorgio Chiellini, 32, along with 39-year-old goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon.

Bonucci had a heated row with Juve coach Massimiliano Allegri in February and was subsequently dropped for a Champions League game with Porto.

However, Bonucci insisted that there was no ill feeling between the two and that they have settled their differences.

Jonathan is ESPN FC's Manchester City correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @jonnysmiffy.

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