Newcastle United

Newcastle United

Premier League • England

Newcastle in talks with legendary star who’ll reject Saudi, MLS offers for one final challenge

Juventus centre-back Leonardo Bonucci

Newcastle have held a meeting to explore the potential signing of one of the greatest defenders of this generation, per a report.

The Magpies will grace the Champions League for the first time since 2003 next season. Eddie Howe’s side are ahead of schedule and to ensure they’re able to compete in Europe as well as on the domestic front, high calibre additions are required this summer.

Italy ace Sandro Tonali certainly fits that billing and joined from AC Milan for around £55m. The 23-year-old’s best years lay ahead and Newcastle will hope they’re all spent at St. James’ Park.

Elsewhere, Newcastle are believed to the frontrunners for a £50m-rated winger, while a remarkable report out of Italy claims talks are underway over the signing of Leonardo Bonucci.

The veteran centre-half is unquestionably one of the finest defenders of the current generation.

Indeed, Bonucci is fourth in the all-time caps list for Italy with 121. At club level, he’s lifted 10 Serie A titles, is a two-time selection in the FIFPro World XI and was named in Serie A’s team of the year on four separate occasions.

Bonucci is also only the second defender to be named Serie A footballer of the year (2016) this century. The other was Fabio Cannavaro in 2006.

Now 36, Bonucci is very much in the autumn of his career and a change behind the scenes at Juventus has cast doubt on his future.

Bonucci has one year left on his deal and per Calciomercato, there is no danger of Juventus terminating his contract early.

However, with Cristiano Giuntoli installed as the club’s new sporting director, a move towards a more youthful approach in Turin is underway.

As such, Juventus will give the greenlight to letting Bonucci leave if a suitable proposal is made. However, the player reportedly has no intention of chasing the riches on offer in Saudi Arabia or MLS.

Instead, Bonucci wants one meaningful final challenge and may get that opportunity with Newcastle.

Bonucci would bring unrivalled Champions League experience

It’s claimed the Magpies have held a meeting to explore whether a deal is viable. Per the report, Newcastle have asked for information regarding the costs involved, Bonucci’s physical condition and also his motivations for wanting to move.

Regarding the latter, part of the reason why Bonucci would reportedly be open to leaving is the fact he’s no longer a regular starter at Juventus.

He’s unlikely to displace either Sven Botman or Fabian Schar as starters at Newcastle given his advanced age.

However, the Magpies do have Champions League football next year – unlike Juventus – and Bonucci has more European experience than Newcastle’s entire squad put together.

Calcio conclude Juventus and Bonucci are now awaiting a concrete move from Newcastle and the ‘idea of ​​saying goodbye in the summer is more alive than ever’.

The Magpies are known to be chasing a new centre-half this summer having drawn links with Crystal Palace pair Marc Guehi and Joachim Andersen.

If Howe and his recruitment team would rather spend big on other positions, Bonucci would represent a cost-effective and ultra-experienced alternative.

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