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Chelsea look to poach captain from former boss in bid to strengthen their defence

Chelsea are interested in signing Newcastle captain Jamaal Lascelles, according to The Sun.

The Sun report that Blues boss Antonio Conte is on the hunt for young, home-grown talent and Lascelles ticks all of the boxes.

Lascelles has become cornerstone of former Chelsea manager Rafa Benitez’s defence at St. James Park, with the Spaniard handing him the captain’s armband after Fabricio Coloccini’s exit.

It is reported by The Sun that Lascelles would cost as much as £18 million, but that is a fee that Conte is willing to pay as he looks to rebuild his faltering defence.

The tabloid go on to note that Lascelles is one of several transfer targets for Chelsea as they look to comply with the Premier League’s home-grown regulations. Spurs’ Ben Davies, Middlesbrough’s Ben Gibson and Burnley youngster Michael Keane are all reportedly on Conte’s radar.

The Italian has already made significant progress in making his side tighter at the back. If Chelsea want to compete at the top again, however, further reinforcements may be required.

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