Miki Soria Now, with it impossible to sign Laporte, ‘Option Bonucci’ has been activated by City. After a first bid of around 46 million euros was rejected by the Italian side, Guardiola has spoken with the player to explain his interest in having him on board this coming season. CEST With Stones, the transfer is following the expected direction. City have an agreement with the player and the English defender has asked Everton to let him leave if a suitable offer arrives, which should happen sooner or later. Laporte’s renewal with Athletic, though, ruined City’s plans. Plan A was over and they had to look for an alternative. That’s where Leonardo Bonucci’s name comes into play. 08/07/2016 Pep Guardiola had a plan when he arrived at Manchester City. His team needed two centre-backs and the first two names quickly became clear: John Stones and Aymeric Laporte. The profiles of the two players were obvious: young with top level experience, good on the ball, reliable… a series of conditions which made them more than adequate for a team playing in Guardiola’s style. The Juventus defender has developed into one of Europe’s best central defenders in recent years and he demonstrated that point during Euro 2016. Not just because of his reliability in defence, but also because of his movement of the ball, as witnessed in Italy’s first goal against Belgium, when he set up Giaccherini with a pass from over 40 yards. Guardiola’s followed him with interest in recent months and praised him publicly after Bayern beat Juve in the Champions League. Upd. at 19:25 In this sense, City hope that Bonucci will ask Juventus to facilitate his exit from the club for an amount which benefits both parties. If the first offer was 46 million euros, a second of between 50 million and 60 million euros could prove definitive. Juve need the money, Bonucci is 29 and he’s easier to replace than Paul Pogba or Paulo Dybala. In fact, the arrival of Medhi Benatia, who has been linked with the Turin club, would serve to fill the gap.