Reported Chelsea transfer target Leonardo Bonucci has started talks with Juventus over a new-and-improved contract in Turin, the Serie A champions have confirmed.

The Blues are rumoured to covet a new central defender in the January transfer window and Antonio Conte knows the Italy international well from his time at the European giants.

Talk in the press recently has insinuated that Chelsea would break the bank to land Bonucci at the next opportunity, with the Blues boss keen for a reunion with the 27-year-old at Stamford Bridge.

However, Juventus chief Giuseppe Marotta has confirmed that Bonucci and team-mate Paulo Dybala are in talks to extend their stay with the Italian champions.

“Bonucci and Dybala are already locked down to contracts, but it is only right to give them recognition with improved wages,” Calcio Mercato report.

“We are working to improve their contracts, also to maintain balance in the locker room. We want a cohesive group without ‘star’ names who earn much more than the others.”

Conte has recently reverted to the three-man defensive system that served him well at Juventus, with Chelsea’s performances much improved of late as a result.

However, full-back Cesar Azpilicueta has been asked to play centrally to facility the change in formation and as such it seems likely the Premier League outfit will look to the transfer market to reinforce come January.

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