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Chelsea face competition from PL rivals in head-to-head clash over free agent

Chelsea and Arsenal are reportedly set for a transfer battle over the signing of Schalke defender Sead Kolasinac, who will become a free agent this summer.

As reported by Bild, Antonio Conte was interested in the January transfer window and made an attempt to sign him, but Chelsea’s approach failed and in turn they were forced to wait for the end of the season.

Kolasinac has established himself as a key figure for the Bundesliga outfit, and in turn it’s no surprise that he has attracted interest from around Europe.

The report adds that Juventus were also keen on signing him, particularly after Patrice Evra’s exit to join Marseille last month, but perhaps they will also revisit the situation in the summer.

Nevertheless, the addition of Arsenal to the transfer war adds further intrigue as the Gunners seemingly set their sights on a long-term replacement for Nacho Monreal.

What that means for Kieran Gibbs will also be up for debate, but Kolasinac, 23, would certainly be a wise investment, particularly given that he is available on a free.

As for Chelsea, the move makes sense for them as Conte will need depth and quality next season as he prepares his side for a return to the Champions League.

While they are expected to end the season as Premier League champions given their nine-point lead over Tottenham currently, the busy fixture list next season will ask questions of their squad depth.

Marcos Alonso will likely struggle with the mere thought of tirelessly running up and down the left flank two or three times a week, and so an additional option on the left would be a wise move to offer Conte further tactical flexibility.

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