Thursday September 1 2011
Bonucci thanks Zenit for interest

Leonardo Bonucci has thanked Zenit St Petersburg for their interest in him, but has promised that his focus is now on improving with Juventus.

In the closing days of the transfer window, the 24-year-old centre-back was heavily linked with a move to the Russian Premier League side, but for his agent to confirm in the final hours of yesterday's deadline day that a deal had failed to materialise.

Bonucci today told Juventus' official website: "I was approached by Zenit, but staying in Turin was always my preferred option. I am of course flattered to have received attention from an important club such as Zenit, but I am happy and honoured to stay at Juve."

The collapse in the deal between Zenit and Juventus was thought to hinge on the valuation of the defender. Juventus paid €15.5m for the former Inter youth a year ago, whilst Luciano Spalletti's side reportedly offered €8m earlier in the summer, and did not raise that deal sufficiently to trigger talks.

Instead, Bonucci is looking forward to the new season with the Bianconeri: "Last year I joined Juventus and a new project, and on the eve of a very important season, I would have regretted not being able to continue my contribution.

"We want to restore our relationship with the fans and erase the recent disappointments that still burn. I promise that from day one, we will give it our all."