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Juventus' Leonardo Bonucci denies contact with Manchester City

Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci has said there was no contact between him and Manchester City in the summer and reaffirmed his commitment to the Italian champions.

He said the Juve shirt is "sewn to my body" and dismissed rumours which had linked him with a move to the Premier League, where one of his biggest admirers -- Pep Guardiola -- is currently in charge of City.

"I never called anybody and they never called me personally," Bonucci told RAI television when asked about City's reported interest.

"I feel I have the Juve shirt sewn to my body because I breathe it every day, but wearing the national team shirt is also an honour. There is nothing better than feeling you are a player that youngsters look up to. I like being this and giving 100 percent when I wear this shirt.

"I feel like I am at a turning point in my career now. Anybody can have one or two great years but it is now up to me to continue this. I will give all I have got to improve my qualities and be important for Juve and for the national team."

Bonucci is adored by Juve fans, but rarely revered by their rivals. His gesture to opposition fans to wash out their mouths when he scores has drawn criticism, but he says it is just his way of showing dedication to his club.

"When you take to the field, you fight for the shirt that you are wearing, and Juve have always been my dream," he said. "I always supported them. There are episodes in your life which mature you and put things into the right perspective, but when I am on the field, I do my job and it doesn't matter if people don't like me because those who know me off the field, the Juve fans, know what sort of a person I am."

One of those episodes occurred earlier this season when Bonucci's son Matteo needed emergency surgery. Bonucci missed several games as he kept vigil over his son's hospital bed and took care of him at home.

Reflecting on that period brought tears to his eyes as he was interviewed by RAI.

"It was certainly a difficult moment and I'd like to thank all the Juventus fans for having shown me their affection," he said. "It was a big test for my family. Matteo showed that he's a battler and we were right behind him, and now we are more serene because we see him playing and smiling.

"Now that the situation has improved, he's in great form and I'd like to thank all of those who were close by us. Matteo succeeded in uniting fans from throughout Italy without even thinking what colour shirt his dad wore and that is the biggest victory for me as a footballer, for him and for our family.

"This experience has fortified us and I'd like to ask all families in similar situations to keep believing all the time because unity brings strength and love is an infinite force."