Chelsea’s pursuit of Antonio Conte looks to have been taken up a notch with the Blues reportedly close to agreeing a deal with the Italy manager.
And it is a player the 46-year-old knows very well that Italian press are suggesting will be one of his first signings in west London.
Leonardo Bonucci shepherded the Juventus defence with gusto under Conte between 2011 and 2014, with the Old Lady back-line shipping just 67 goals in all three of those seasons combined.
To put that into context that is 13 fewer than they scored in the 2013-14 campaign, Conte’s last in charge, alone.
While the former Bari boss left Turin to take the national team role, Bonucci has stayed and been ever present in the Juve side that looks set to land the Serie A title this term.
His affiliation with his former manager hasn’t ended though as he has featured 53 times for the Azzurri, with their goal looking pretty safe when he’s in the squad with just 10 goals conceded in his last 15 appearances for his country.
The 28-year-old could prove a perfect replacement for John Terry who looks set to leave Stamford Bridge at the end of the season.
Building his Chelsea team around a man he knows and trusts could be the modus operandi for Conte should he get the gig in the capital.
With the Blues set to be without Champions League, and possibly European football altogether, it could come down to calling in his contacts in a bid to attract the players necessary for a notable effort to win the Premier League next term.
If they go on to win the FA Cup this term, a feat priced up at 10/3, attracting some of Europe’s best to the Bridge in the summer could be a tad easier for Conte.
All odds and markets correct as of the date of publishing.