Antonio Conte plots £56m summer raid as Chelsea see £27m bid rejected for starlet

Chelsea are reportedly making a priority of strengthening their midfield with both Franck Kessie and Arturo Vidal on their radar now and in the summer.

The push to sign Kessie has already begun, as The Daily Star report the Blues offered £21m up front with the fee rising to £27m with add-ons to Atalanta, but the Serie A side rejected the bid.

It’s added that La Dea are keen to keep hold of the 20-year-old until the end of the season, at which point Chelsea should have a better chance of signing him.

Labelled the ‘next Yaya Toure’ by many, Kessie has impressed so far this season, scoring seven goals and providing two assists in 17 appearances.

In turn, it’s no surprise that Atalanta are keen to avoid losing him midway through the campaign as they continue to have to sell their top young talents.

The Ivory Coast international is set to return home from the Africa Cup of Nations earlier than expected after elimination from the tournament, but it doesn’t look as though he’ll be leaving Italy again before the deadline.

Nevertheless, it’s reported that Chelsea have held extensive talks with his agent, and a deal may well be done which sees the talented youngster move to Stamford Bridge in the summer.

Meanwhile, reports in Chile claim that Antonio Conte is set to launch a £56m to sign Bayern Munich midfielder Arturo Vidal.

El Mercurio suggest that Conte has already spoken to his former player on the phone regarding a possible move to Stamford Bridge, while the club’s hierarchy have given the green light for the move to go ahead.

However, he won’t come cheap as mentioned above as Bayern are demanding £56m for the 29-year-old, which could obviously be a stumbling block depending on how highly Chelsea and Conte value what the Chilean international could add to their squad.

The report adds that Vidal is having English lessons as he seemingly prepares for a move to the Premier League, and a reunion with Conte after their successful spell together at Juventus would certainly be a dangerous threat to the club’s rivals next season.

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