Chelsea: Bonucci move in danger; Conte rejected Costa request; midfielder bid imminent
The Mirror report that Chelsea’s £50 million move for Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci is in jeapordy after the Turin club’s CEO, Giuseppe Marotta, revealed that the club are in talks with the defender over extending his contract beyond the four years which currently remain on his deal, despite having only agreed to new terms last summer. The 29-year-old could be set to remain in Italy, at the club where he has been since 2010, in favour of a move to London.
Antonio Conte has reportedly identified Bonucci as his top transfer target in January as he seeks to add strength in depth in defence to allow him to continue to play with his preferred system of three central defenders, even if there are one or two injuries to his players. The Blues will push hard for Bonucci, but Juventus may be able to do enough to persuade him to stay.
The Italian manager has revealed that he turned down a bizarre request from forward Diego Costa on Saturday as the Express claim that he revealed:
“I can take the risk about this. We need his passion. If I can, Costa I keep him until the end, I can take the risk about this, for a yellow card or for injury. I decide. Diego is in good shape. Costa is an important player to us. He has a good personality. We need his passion in every moment of the game.”
The Spanish striker is believed to have requested to be substituted as he was concerned that he may have picked up a yellow card which would have kept him out of the visit to Old Trafford next weekend as the Blues face Chelsea with Costa just one yellow card away from suspension, but Conte opted to risk his in form striker.
The Daily Star claim that Chelsea are leading the race for Porto hot shot Ruben Neves, amid competition from Liverpool, Juventus, Valencia and Borussia Dortmund. The 19-year-old holding midfielder is one of the brightest young talents in Europe, but Chelsea’s offer of £24 million, plus sell-ons and a player, is believed to be the most convincing for Porto.
The midfielder already has over 50 first team appearances under his belt at the very highest levels in the Champions League and on the international scene, despite his young age, and has been likened to players such as Xabi Alonso for his style. Neves’ addition could be one of Conte’s top targets in January.
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