Juventus and Italy international Leonardo Bonucci insists he will not be following Antonio Conte to Chelsea to replace John Terry. Conte is widely expected to become the permanent successor to Jose Mourinho at Stamford Bridge from this summer and had reportedly planned to make the 28 year old among his first additions.
The Daily Telegraph understood that Conte was lining up a move for Bonucci, who he has managed at club and international level with great success, in the event that Terry's 12-year relationship with the Blues ends at the close of the current campaign. The former England captain is yet to be offered a new deal beyond the end of the season when his contract expires.
Terry's absence will leave Chelsea with wafer-thin options at centre-back. Kurt Zouma is currently recovering from knee surgery, while Gary Cahill and Branislav Ivanovic are approaching the twilight of their careers. However, should Conte wish to freshen up his defensive options, then he must look elsewhere after Bonucci committed himself to the Bianconeri.
"If I've ever followed Conte, then it's been to get a coffee at most," Bonucci told reporters when asked whether he would follow Conte to Chelsea, according to Goal.com. "I don't know where he's going to go [next season], but I've signed a new contract with Juventus and I'm only thinking about the Bianconeri.
He added, according to Football Italia: "Conte is the coach who forced me to make that leap, ever since he arrived at Juventus. At the start, we had some disagreements because when I arrived in Turin, I definitely wasn't in the best shape after a wedding and a honeymoon. But I have to say, he taught me so much on a technical level. If today I'm one of the best in Europe, then a good part of that is down to the boss."
Bonucci is expected to make up part of Conte's 23-man Italy squad for the summer's European Championships, a tournament that will represent his final act as head coach before his expected move to Chelsea. The Guardian reports Conte has agreed a three-year deal to move to west London but will not arrive until after Euro 2016.