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Juventus stalwart Leonardo Bonucci targeted by Roma and Lazio

Despite reporting for pre-season training on Monday, Leonardo Bonucci’s time at Juventus is effectively over.

According to Turin-based newspaper Tuttosport, Roma and Lazio are going head-to-head for the veteran defender’s signature as his Bianconeri adventure nears its conclusion.

Juventus have assembled a list of three unwanted players they are actively looking to offload in the coming weeks – Bonucci, Arthur Melo and Weston McKennie.

The 36-year-old has made upwards of 500 appearances for the record-time Serie A champions, forging a famous ‘BBC’ defensive trio that was the backbone of Juve’s decade-long dominance of Italian football.

He’s also the last member of that trident still under contract in Turin after his former partners Andrea Barzagli and Giorgio Chiellini left the Allianz Stadium in recent years.

Chiellini’s move to Los Angeles last year left the Italy international as the last relic of the club’s glory days during Antonio Conte’s reign and Massimiliano Allegri’s first tenure.

Bonucci briefly left Juventus to join fierce rivals AC Milan in 2017 – a decision he quickly came to regret as he moved back to Turin the following year.

He has since won back supporters’ affection, but the time has come for one of the best defenders in modern Serie A history to move on.

The former Inter Milan defender is no longer in favour at Juventus, and with his contract running out in 12 months, the Bianconeri are eager to force his exit as soon as possible.

Saudi Arabia has emerged as a potential hypothesis if Bonucci fails to attract domestic interest, but the player is reluctant to take the route that deprived Serie A of Sergej Milinkovic-Savic.

Keen to wear the captain’s armband next summer if Italy’s bid to qualify for the 2024 European Championship is successful, the ageing star is reluctant to leave his homeland.

Roma and Lazio are listed among potential candidates to hand Bonucci a lifeline in Italy’s top flight as both sides seek defensive reinforcements, especially the former.

Roger Ibanez’s future at the Stadio Olimpico remains questionable, compelling Jose Mourinho to dive into the market to address a potential void.

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