Bonucci: I rejected Man Utd move to come ‘home’ to Juventus

Juventus centre-back Leonardo Bonucci has admitted that he could have moved to Manchester United this summer, but instead chose to move “home” to the Turin side.

Bonucci had spent seven years previously at Juve, but moved to AC Milan in the summer of 2017

The 31-year-old was, however, discontent at San Siro and switched back to the Allianz Stadium after only a year.

He admits that he had the option of experiencing the Premier League, where Jose Mourinho’s United wanted him as a solution to their long-standing problems at centre-back, but the Italy international says that was not for him.

It is not the first time he has had the chance to move to England, either.

“Basically there have been some possibilities both with Manchester City and with Manchester United,” he told the Daily Telegraph

“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.”

Asked to clarify if there had been interest from the Red Devils this summer, he replied: “Yes.”

Bonucci Chievo Juventus

Pressed further, he was asked if there was any chance of him completing the move after Juve made their interest clear, he said: “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.

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“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.’”

Bonucci is liable to line up for Juve against United at Old Trafford on Tuesday in the Champions League, having missed only 90 minutes of football this season.

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‘Alexis to miss Juventus clash amid exit reports’

Alexis Sanchez will miss Manchester United’s Champions League clash with Juventus later this week, Jose Mourinho has confirmed.

The Chile international was absent from training on Monday, amid reports that he wants to leave the club.

The Times claimed over the weekend that Alexis is unhappy with Jose Mourinho and that his agent is on standby to talk to interested clubs should they come calling in January or next summer.

Alexis was absent from the session ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League clash with Juventus, and Mourinho says the forward will play no part in the pivotal European encounter.

“The players you saw at training are the players available. Sanchez is not available,” he told reporters.

Alexis has struggled for form thus far this season, scoring a single goal in seven Premier League appearances.

He has played 90 minutes just once this season, in the 2-1 win over Leicester City on the opening day, while he featured for just five minutes in Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Chelsea.

After being signed from Arsenal in January 2018 in a swap deal that saw Henrikh Mkhitaryan join the Gunners, Alexis has made 26 appearances for the Red Devils.

He has scored just four goals and provided six assists in that time, with Mourinho using him sparingly.

Alexis was left out of the squad to face West Ham earlier this season, and has been substituted numerous times.

Jesse Lingard, Diogo Dalot and Marouane Fellaini were also absent from the session, as the club prepares for the biggest game in their Champions League campaign thus far.

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United have so far played Valencia and Young Boys in Europe, and sit second behind the Bianconceri, having drawn with the Spanish side and beaten the Swiss outfit.

Of course, the match with Juventus offers the chance for United to renew acquaintances with the iconic Cristiano Ronaldo, who has been enjoying life at his new club since a stunning move from Real Madrid.

Ronaldo has thus far scored five goals and registered five assists in nine Serie A games.

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Alexis Sanchez absent from Man Utd training amid exit rumours

Alexis Sanchez was absent from Manchester United training on Monday amid reports that he wants to leave the club.

The Times claimed over the weekend that Alexis is unhappy with Jose Mourinho and that his agent is on standby to talk to interested clubs should they come calling in January or next summer.

Alexis was absent from the session ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League clash with Juventus, throwing his participation in the game into doubt.

The Chile international has struggled for form thus far this season, scoring a single goal in seven Premier League appearances.

He has played 90 minutes just once this season, in the 2-1 win over Leicester City on the opening day, while he featured for just five minutes in Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Chelsea.

After being signed from Arsenal in January 2018 in a swap deal that saw Henrikh Mkhitaryan join the Gunners, Alexis has made 26 appearances for the Red Devils.

He has scored just four goals and provided six assists in that time, with Mourinho using him sparingly.

Alexis was left out of the squad to face West Ham earlier this season, and has been substituted numerous times.

Jesse Lingard, Diogo Dalot and Marouane Fellaini were also absent from the session, as the club prepares for the biggest game in their Champions League campaign thus far.

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United have so far played Valencia and Young Boys in Europe, and sit second behind the Bianconceri, having drawn with the Spanish side and beaten the Swiss outfit.

Of course, the match with Juventus offers the chance for United to renew acquaintances with the iconic Cristiano Ronaldo, who has been enjoying life at his new club since a stunning move from Real Madrid.

Ronaldo has thus far scored five goals and registered five assists in nine Serie A games.

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Barcelona rubbish prospect of Neymar return

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu insists that the club have no plans to re-sign Neymar.

Reports in Spain continue to speculate that the Catalan club are interested in bringing the Brazil international back to Camp Nou from PSG, to whom they sold him in August of 2017.

The French club paid a world record €222 million (£195m/$255m) to acquire Neymar’s signature, prising him away from the club where he had formed a fearsome attacking trio with Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi.

But Bartomeu insists that there is no prospect of a glorious return for the 26-year-old, insisting that Barca are also set for a quiet January transfer window despite a stuttering start to the campaign.

“Neymar? He left and there are no plans to bring him back,” he told Catalunya Radio.

“We don’t plan to sign anyone in January, unless the coaches ask for someone before then. It’s a smaller squad because we have B team players who can make the first team.”

The Barca president had his words echoed by vice-president Jordi Cardoner earlier this week, as he claimed that Neymar had not been discussed as a potential target.

Since joining PSG, Neymar has been in prolific form, scoring 39 goals in 41 games in all competitions, as well as registering 21 assists.

This season, thus far, he has scored 11 goals in 11 games, and defender Marquinhos does not expect his team-mate to go anywhere soon.

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“I wish Real Madrid and Barcelona the best of luck in their attempt to bring Neymar away from here,” the defender sarcastically told reporters after his side’s 5-0 win over Amiens.

“People know what our president is like, how he is with his people and how he loves our important players.

“So I don’t see any reason why he should leave. He has even denied it on social media so I can’t speak for him, you should ask him.”

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Gladbach play down move for Chelsea’s Christensen: It’s not a current topic

Borussia Monchengladbach have played down their interest in re-signing Chelsea centre-back Andreas Christensen.

The Denmark international indicated his willingness to leave the Blues in January via his father on Friday if he cannot earn more game time under Maurizio Sarri.

It had been suggested that he could move back to the Bundesliga side, where he spent two years on loan, though on a permanent basis.

However, the Germans have cooled rumours over the prospect of signing the 22-year-old.

“We’ve got an outstanding relationship with Andreas, but the topic is not currently on,” sporting director Max Eberl told Sky Sports Germany. “We’ve got a top central defensive partnership, with Mathias Ginter and Nico Elvedi.”

Even if the player was available, Gladbach are wary that Chelsea’s asking price would have the potential of scuppering the deal.

“Although we have some money to spend, I’ve heard that Chelsea will only sell Andreas if they allow him to leave, and the amount they will ask for is very large,” he confirmed.

Christensen did not even make the squad at the weekend as Chelsea came back from behind to secure a 2-2 draw with Manchester United in a rollercoaster match.

Indeed, he has yet to play a single minute of Premier League football under Sarri, although he has featured in both the EFL Cup and the Europa League, playing every minute of European competition so far this term.

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He had played a significant role under Antonio Conte in the 2017-18 campaign, including 27 outings in the Premier League, which accounted for a strong portion of his 40 appearances overall. 

In Germany, meanwhile, he was an undisputed regular for Gladbach, with whom he played 43 times during the 2016-17 campaign, including four Champions League matches. A year earlier, he had turned out 39 times, missing only four matches overall, despite being only 19 years old.  

Furthermore, he is a Denmark international, having made 20 appearances for his country, scoring one goal.

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