Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has reportedly told Antonio Conte that he will fund a world-record bid for a defender in order to sign Leonardo Bonucci.
The Italian international has established himself as one of the best defenders in Europe with his form for both club and country over a number of years.
Further, Conte has worked closely with him during his time in charge of both Juventus and Italy and will undoubtedly know better than most what he brings to a team.
According to The Telegraph, Abramovich is prepared to deliver Conte’s dream signing by bidding more than the £50m that Paris Saint-Germain spent to sign David Luiz from the club in 2014, a figure reported by several outlets including The Daily Mail two years ago, which is still currently the world record fee for a defender.
It’s claimed that Abramovich will be willing to bid more than £60m to test Juve’s resolve in January, as ultimately he has agreed to a squad overhaul and will look to bolster the defence first.
Chelsea have struggled defensively this season, keeping just two clean sheets in all competitions thus far while they have the second worst defensive record out of the top 10 teams in the Premier League table.
John Terry’s absence through injury hasn’t helped the situation, with Luiz and Gary Cahill along with the rest of the backline unable to offer assurances in big games against the likes of Liverpool and Arsenal in recent weeks.
While Conte’s side kept Hull City out at the weekend, it’s still evidently an area that they might wish to improve next year, and according to The Telegraph, Abramovich will try to deliver the man that Conte has wanted all along.
Bonucci has made over 200 Serie A appearances for Juve since joining the club in 2010, and now has 63 caps with the Azzurri to his name as he continues to play an instrumental role for both.
He has been dominant in Turin with five Serie A titles won along with two Coppa Italia trophies and three Supercoppa Italiana wins, while he helped the Bianconeri to a runners-up finish in the Champions League in 2015.
Whether or not a move to England materialises remains to be seen, but if the report is to be believed, then Juve will certainly be put under pressure to accept a substantial financial offer.