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Juventus legend Leonardo Bonucci confesses he was ‘close’ to £100million Premier League transfer but turned it down

LEONARDO BONUCCI does not regret turning down Pep Guardiola and Manchester City.

The Etihad outfit were prepared to make him the most expensive defender in the world eight years ago.

Leonardo Bonucci has revealed that Man City tried to sign him in 2016 for £100m

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Leonardo Bonucci has revealed that Man City tried to sign him in 2016 for £100mCredit: Getty

Bonucci revealed: “In 2016, Man City and I were close. They offered almost £100million to Juventus but together with the club we decided to continue.

“There were talks in 2017, too, after Juventus put me up for sale… in the end things had to go that way.

“Being managed by Guardiola would have been a great achievement because he would have improved me but I can’t complain because I won many trophies, individual awards and the Euros.

“I always let my heart dictate me, that’s why I stayed at Juventus.”

City instead welcomed John Stones in 2016 after having their approach for Bonucci rebuffed by the Old Lady.

And the Italian is only full of praise for the man who was signed in his place as he gushed about the abilities of Stones.

He said: “I struggle to find a deficiency in players like Stones, who have won what he did.

“He’s a leader, reads the game well, has rhythms and is intelligent.

“He’s a technical player and a nasty defender. At City, Guardiola saw a perfect role for him, to be more of a ball-playing defender. He makes mistakes but who doesn’t?

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“He’s still young and has a lot of time to improve and keep winning.

“In the end, who decides if someone is the best in the world? The fans, but with all due respect, it’s got really whether they like you or not.

“Stones has done great things and I like him a lot. He’s one of the best in the world.”

Bonucci now plies his trade with Union Berlin after bidding farewell to Juventus last summer.

A long way from Turin he faces a new challenge with the German club who are currently sat just one point off the relegation zone in the Bundesliga.

Manchester City signed John Stones from Everton in 2016

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Manchester City signed John Stones from Everton in 2016Credit: Getty

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