Chelsea set to make £24m January bid for Antonio Conte favourite and versatile defensive ace

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Chelsea are reportedly preparing a £24m bid in the January transfer window to try and prise long-time target Faouzi Ghoulam away from Napoli.

As noted by The Sun, the Algerian international was a target this past summer for the Blues too, but he prioritised the Partenopei and the chance to play in the Champions League instead.

However, with Antonio Conte’s men flying high at the top of the Premier League table following a seven-game winning streak, they are ready to revisit their interest in the left-sided full back.

Conte is said to be a keen admirer of the 25-year-old, as he has the ability to either play at left wing-back or on the left side of a back three.

That will obviously suit the Italian well given the success that he’s enjoyed since implementing the 3-4-3 system, and so the move makes perfect sense from that perspective.

It remains to be seen what it would mean for summer signing Marcos Alonso though as it will result in additional competition, but with Chelsea now pushing on domestically to get back into the Champions League, perhaps Conte is thinking ahead and knows he needs a fuller squad with more quality options in each department.

It’s added that Napoli boss Maurizio Sarri is desperate to keep hold of Ghoulam and that doesn’t really come as much of a surprise given how important and reliable he has been for the Serie A giants.

With big fixtures coming up against Inter and Benfica in Serie A and the Champions League respectively, Napoli will want to avoid any speculation from being a distraction at this point.

However, it may well become a more prominent issue for them in January depending on how things go before the winter break as it could lead to big decisions having to be made.

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