Massimiliano Allegri has suggested that Leonardo Bonucci will not be leaving Juventus for Chelsea by calling him a “future leader” in Turin.
The Italy international defender has been heavily linked with a summer move to Stamford Bridge, trading the Serie A champions for their Premier League equivalent.
Former Juve boss Antonio Conte is reported to have made a reunion with the 30-year-old in west London a top priority, as he seeks to further bolster an already impressive back line.
Juve, though, have no intention of parting with Bonucci, with Allegri considering him to be a key part of his plans – with an unfortunate incident which led to the experienced centre-half being dropped for a Champions League clash with Porto in February put behind them.
"At that particular moment it was the right thing to do," Allegri told Sky Italia.
"There are times when you should turn a blind eye and times when you have to have your eyes wide open and in that moment Leo was wrong.
"I was wrong too, and in fact I punished myself and Leo was left out. It was an important and decisive game and even if we’d lost we’d have had the strength to win 10 more.
"We played a good game against Porto and then after two days Bonucci came back, because he’s an important player, an extraordinary player.
"And above all he has to understand that he’ll be the future leader of the Juventus dressing room."
Bonucci went on to make 45 appearances in all competitions for Juve in 2016-17, helping them to Serie A title glory and a Coppa Italia triumph.
He was unable to complete a treble as Real Madrid blew Allegri’s side away in the Champions League final and has been the subject of reported £50 million interest ever since.