Antonio Conte in all probability will take charge of Chelsea next summer, although not official but we know eventually it will happen, so it is not a big surprise that most of the Serie A players are being linked with the Blues at the moment.
The Italy coach has done his homework already for his next managerial job, and feels Chelsea need few players in several areas of the pitch. He reportedly wants to add a central defender, couple of midfielders, a solid left-back, and a good striker to the Chelsea squad in the summer.
With club legend John Terry all set to bid farewell to Chelsea (unless he is given a year extension) fans at the end of the season, the Blues require a long term replacement for the would-be departing skipper.
Chelsea were heavily interested in signing Everton defender John Stones last summer. The Blues even have had three bids rejected for the England international. It can well happen that Chelsea may make an approach for Stones, but I am not too sure whether Conte rates him highly enough. Plus, he would cost a lot, being an English player (homegrown factor) and there are better options elsewhere in Europe.
According to reports in Italy, Chelsea are interested in signing Roma’s highly rated defender Kostas Manolas. The Blues had even lodged a €33m bid for the Greece international, who is also a reported target of Premier League giants Liverpool, but Roma felt the offer was way below the player’s valuation.
Italian website Calciomercato reports that Chelsea are also keen to sign Roma’s midfield duo – Miralem Pjanic and Radja Nainggolan. Roma are unlikely to sell them both, but the Giallorossi may be tempted to part ways with either one of them, provided they get a handsome transfer fee.
I seriously have no idea about Chelsea’s genuine interest in Nainggolan, but the Blues certainly want Pjanic to be a part of their squad next season. Matt Hughes, who is a very reliable journalist, wrote for The Times recently that Chelsea had made an initial contact with Pjanic’s representatives.
The Bosnia midfielder, who has a reported £31m release clause stipulated into his contract, although Italian media believe it is around €45m, is equally interested in playing in the Premier League for Chelsea, even though he understands that he could miss Champions League football for at least a year, if he joins the Blues.