It might have been quiet at Chelsea so far this summer, but it’s reported that Antonio Conte is plotting some big-money moves in the coming weeks.
The Premier League champions will need to strengthen between now and the start of next season, as aside from trying to defend their crown, they will also have the Champions League to consider.
In turn, it’s only to be expected that they are being linked with some quality signings, and according to The Mirror, they’ve put together quite the transfer shortlist.
It’s suggested that Romelu Lukaku is close to sealing a £70m move to Stamford Bridge, thus why Conte sent that well-publicised text to Diego Costa last week informing him that he didn’t form part of his plans at Chelsea moving forward.
In addition, Monaco midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko is said to be close to a £40m move, which already takes the potential spending up to £110m.
However, that isn’t where the links end as with Marco Verratti reportedly keen to leave Paris Saint-Germain, the £70m-rated Italian international is another one on Conte’s radar which would start to see the spending spiral.
It’s worth noting at this point though that the Mirror note that the likes of Costa, Cesc Fabregas and Nemanja Matic face uncertain futures, and so transfer funds will likely come from player sales too as opposed to Roman Abramovich pumping a bucket load of money into the kitty.
Juventus pair Leonardo Bonucci and Alex Sandro complete the list of targets, with the latter getting an asking price of £52m from the Turin giants, but it’s added that Conte isn’t prepared to meet those demands.
All in all, it looks as though Lukaku and Bakayoko could be the first new arrivals at Chelsea this summer, as they continue to be heavily linked with moves to west London. Beyond that, it’s a little less certain as Conte will have to find the right balance in the market and make key additions to his squad which will help them compete on various fronts and not just make up the numbers.