Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci has confirmed he turned down moves to both Manchester City and Manchester United in recent years.
Bonucci, 31, now back with Juve after a brief and unsuccessful spell with AC Milan last season, will line up against United in the Champions League tomorrow, but he could have been playing for Jose Mourinho.
Bonucci left Juventus in 2017 because “the bond had faded”, but he returned this summer after a difficult spell with the Rossoneri and wanted to return “home”.
United boss Mourinho was on the lookout, and still is, for a central defender over the summer and Bonucci has admitted there was a chance to go to Old Trafford before he made the move back to Turin in August.
Asked if there was offer from United at the end of last season, Bonucci told the Daily Telegraph: “Yes.”
But when asked if there was ever a chance of moving to England once Juventus were interested, he added: “No. I feel at home.
“Here I really do my best, I just push myself to the maximum and that’s something at Milan I really didn’t manage, I didn’t succeed to achieve and that was probably because in my heart I had already made the decision that I wanted to go back home.
“The decision was not made until June but it’s true that I had this feeling inside me. So when my agent told me there was a tangible opportunity to go back I just stopped listening to anyone telling me what to do, I stopped listening to any kind of suggestion and I just said ‘OK, let’s go home’.”
The central defender also admitted that he had the chance to play in the Premier League in 2016 and he held talks with Man City at the start of Pep Guardiola’s reign.
“Basically there have been some possibilities both with Manchester City and with Manchester United,” Bonucci added. “With Manchester City when I received that offer (in 2016) I actually talked to the club, I talked to Juventus and we decided that it was good for me to stay and to keep on winning with Juventus.
“And this year when I was told there was a possibility to go back home, to come back to Juventus I just stopped listening to any other offers and I decided to come back here.”