Michael Keane has attracted a lot of interest with his solid displays at the heart of Burnley’s defence over the past 12 months.
The former Manchester United defender was a target for Premier League champions Leicester City in the summer. The Foxes even submitted a 15 million pound bid for the 23-year-old.
According to Guardian, Keane is now a target for Chelsea as well.
The Stamford Bridge outfit are looking to sign a centre-back in January and Conte has identified Keane as an ideal solution.
The Blues have struggled at the back so far and are lacking in defensive depth and quality. Kurt Zouma still has not recovered from his knee injury and John Terry has picked up an injury as well.
Conte is left with Ivanovic, Luiz and Cahill as his centre backs right now and only the Brazilian is good enough to start regularly.
Keane was arguably the best defender in the Championship last season and helped Burnley secure promotion to the Premier League. The former United academy graduate has carried that form into the new season as well.
The 23-year-old scored in Burnley’s 2-0 win over Watford at the weekend.
Keane recently confirmed that he is flattered by the interest from Champions League clubs like Leicester City and he hopes to play in the competition eventually.
The defender said: “It’s flattering when teams like Leicester come in but I am really happy here. The fans have been brilliant with me here, as have the manager and players. It’s great when teams like that come in but I am quite happy. I won’t be looking at Leicester in the Champions League thinking: ‘That could have been me’ because I tend to think what will be, will be. Hopefully at some time in the future, I will get to that level anyway”
Joining Chelsea would be a major step up for him and one that would allow him to realise his lofty ambitions as well.
Guardian add that Chelsea are considering a 25 million pound offer for the English defender in January.
Although that is a steep price for a relatively unproven centre back, Keane’s talent is beyond doubt.
He could well be a long-term replacement for club legend John Terry if he can fulfil his potential.