Juventus director Beppe Marotta has confirmed that talks between the club and Leonardo Bonucci are underway over a new contract.
The Italian international has been an integral part of his club and country’s success for several years now, establishing himself as one of the best defenders in world football.
Antonio Conte has extensive experience working with him, with the duo paired together both at Juve and with the Azzurri, and it had been claimed that the 47-year-old was chasing his former star this past summer.
The Sun reported last week that it would take a world record fee for a defender of £50m plus Cesc Fabregas to prise him away from Turin, but Marotta evidently has no intention of seeing the 29-year-old defender leave the Bianconeri any time soon.
“Bonucci and Dybala are already locked down to contracts, but it is only right to give them recognition with improved wages,” he told Mediaset Premium, as reported by Calciomercato. “We are working to improve their contracts, also to maintain balance in the locker room.
“We want a cohesive group without ‘star’ names who earn much more than the others.”
Bonucci now has 281 appearances in all competitions under his belt for Juve, and has won five Serie A titles, two Coppa Italia trophies and three Supercoppa Italiana titles during his time with the club.
In turn, it’s hardly a surprise to see Juve keen on getting him to commit his long-term future, while it’s also not a shock to see Chelsea pushing hard to bring in a world class player to strengthen their defence.
With John Terry turning 36 in December combined with question marks over the likes of Branislav Ivanovic and David Luiz, Conte will need to act sooner rather than later.