Italian champions Juventus will reportedly allow Leonard Bonucci to join Chelsea, but only for a world record fee and a swap deal involving a midfielder.
According to a report in the Sun, the Bianconeri will give in to interest from Antonio Conte and Chelsea, but only if they include Cesc Fabregas in a move going the other way.
Conte had a bid of just under £50m rejected in the summer reports say, amid concrete interest from Premier League rivals Manchester City, but Juve boss Max Allegri is apparently desperate to bring Fabregas to Turin.
He sees Fabregas as ‘the perfect replacement for the ageing Claudio Marchisio’ and ‘the man to ultimately fill the playmaker role vacated by Andrea Pirlo in 2015’ – state the Sun.
It is a deal that makes sense for both teams, as Bonucci would solve a defensive problem for the Blues, while Fabregas would add a unique skill-set to an already well-equipped midfield.
The report goes on to say that Conte is reluctant to let the former Barcelona and Arsenal man leave, and that Juventus’ Champions League commitments mean the deal may have to wait until the summer.
Bonucci would likely be the replacement for Gary Cahill in the Chelsea back line, with the 30-year-old not doing enough to impress Conte.
The Italian international stated in September that despite interest from Manchester City, he never thought about leaving Juventus.
“At the start, I did think a bit about it. Guardiola’s insistence did get me thinking, but I said no because I followed my heart,” he told Gazzetta dello Sport.
“I stayed here to aim for big objectives. I never spoke [to Pep Guardiola]. There was just an exchange of thoughts with my agent.”