Mar 5, 2017 18:37:43
The Premier League's heavyweights appear set to experience more frustration in their quest to prise the Italy international away from the Serie A side
Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci has confirmed he started having English lessons last year as offers from the Premier League arrived, but dismissed suggestions he will move on at the end of this season.
Bonucci has been linked with Chelsea and Manchester City, and speculation over his future escalated after a touchline row with coach Massimiliano Allegri, which led to him being dropped for the 2-0 first-leg win over Porto in the Champions League round of 16.
The 29-year-old claims to have made amends with Allegri, and when asked about his situation following Juve's 1-1 draw at Udinese – in which he scored his side's equaliser – he insisted he wants to honour his contract.
"It's all the same as before," he told Sky Sports Italia. "I continue to fight for Juve and when needed I can contribute with a goal.
"I am owned by the club. I have a contract with Juve to 2021 and feel important for the team, so I don't see why there has to be a problem.
"If I wanted to leave Juventus, I would've pushed to do it last year, as I had important offers over the summer and had already started studying English.
"I am important to the team, but as we saw in Porto, nobody is indispensable. Nobody must feel comfortable here, as we need to give 100 per cent in every training session to earn our place."
A post shared by Leonardo Bonucci (@bonuccileo19) on Mar 5, 2017 at 9:31am PST
Bonucci took centre stage in Udine, where he was outmuscled by Duvan Zapata before Udinese took the lead, but then headed the Bianconeri's equaliser after an hour.
Despite playing a key role in earning Juventus a share of the points, the Italian international was critical of his own performance.
He said: "We lowered the intensity level and consequently the ball didn't move around as quickly as usual, so it has to serve as a lesson to us. Despite it all, we still increased our lead [at the top of Serie A] to eight points and that is important.
"I live for the victory, I can't help myself. Even if the result is ultimately positive, I have regrets that we didn't give 100 per cent, especially in the first half. I can't stand these slip-ups."