Thursday 8 December 2016

Pep Guardiola looks to add steel to Man City by targeting Euro 2016's gutsiest participant

Published 06/07/2016 | 13:01

Italy's defender Leonardo Bonucci (L) celebrates with Italy's forward Lorenzo Insigne after scoring during the Euro 2016 quarter-final football match between Germany and Italy at the Matmut Atlantique stadium in Bordeaux on July 2, 2016.
/ AFP / Mehdi FEDOUACH (Photo credit should read MEHDI FEDOUACH/AFP/Getty Images)
Italy's defender Leonardo Bonucci (L) celebrates with Italy's forward Lorenzo Insigne after scoring during the Euro 2016 quarter-final football match between Germany and Italy at the Matmut Atlantique stadium in Bordeaux on July 2, 2016. / AFP / Mehdi FEDOUACH (Photo credit should read MEHDI FEDOUACH/AFP/Getty Images)

Although there are a number of clichés to the contrary, Manchester City are trying to prove that you can, in fact, buy courage.

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The desire of the club's players has been questioned on many occasions over the last number of seasons - see: Dunphy, Eamon - and with a new manager having arrived this summer, it looks like that issue is to be addressed.

Pep Guardiola has already welcomed the arrivals of Ilkay Gundogan and Nolito in his short time at the helm, and according to Sky Sports, he is targeting a teak tough centre back to add considerable guts to his starting team

Sky is reporting that City have had a £38m bid rejected for Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci, although it is suspected that the club will continue to pursue the Italian international.

Bonucci was magnificent during Italy's impressive Euro 2016 run, which saw the Azzurri keep clean sheets in dominant 2-0 wins over tournament favourites Spain and Belgium.

The centre back's heroism was highlighted in the quarter-final exit against Germany when he levelled that match with a late penalty despite having never taken one in a game during his career.

City badly need leadership like that as they enter Guardiola's first season in charge amid a shortage of defenders.

Martin Demichelis has left the club while Vincent Kompany's fitness means he remains a constant doubt.

£38m plus is a steep price to pay for a defender but Bonucci showed during Euro 2016 that he is exactly the kind of player City need.

If nothing else, it will keep Eamon Dunphy happy.

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