Chelsea: Conte wants Chiellini; goalkeeper to sign; former full-back to return

In a surprise development, the Express report that Antonio Conte could encourage his club to make a move for Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini. The Italian is reportedly concerned by the club’s reliance on John Terry and Gary Cahill, with the former now at 35 years of age and the latter’s form under question over the past season, and Kurt Zouma out with a serious knee injury. Reports suggest that Chelsea’s opening offer for Chiellini, who played under Conte at Juventus and with Italy, could be in the region of £25 million, having already had an offer of £50 million for his defensive partner Leonardo Bonucci turned down by the Turin club.

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At £25 million, it seems that the club would not be keen to do business. That means that Chelsea may be forced to up their offer, and whilst Chiellini is one of the best around for a short-term solution, at 32-years-old, he would not represent a long term replacement for John Terry at the heart of the Londoner’s defence. As a result, the club may instead be forced to look elsewhere as they seek a solution for Conte’s defensive headache with early performances, no clean sheets from two games against West Ham and Watford, not easing his concerns.

There could be a new addition in that area though, with Sky Sports claiming that Portuguese goalkeeper Eduardo is set to join the club to replace Asmir Begovic as second choice behind Thibaut Courtois. The Dinamo Zagreb ‘keeper has already played in the Champions League for his Croatian side, but will now head to London to sign off on a deal to see him move to Stamford Bridge, with the fee not yet known.

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Begovic is subject to interest from Everton and is said to be desperate to leave as he wants first team football, and Eduardo, who was second choice to Rui Patricio in this summer’s Euro 2016 victory for his country, is happy to accept that role. An experienced name, even if Begovic does remain, he could replace third place Marco Amelia who was released this summer. The Portuguese player is unlikely to get much game time, but will be an important addition should Courtois pick up any injuries or suspensions this season.

There could be a sensational return from former left-back Ashley Cole as the 35-year-old is now considering his future as he nears the end of his current LA Galaxy contract and contemplates retirement. The Champions League winner now has his eyes set on a different kind of role at the club, saying:

“I hope I can go back to Chelsea and do something there, not so much coaching but scouting or something. I enjoy scouting, watching the young lads come through. I have done a little for my agent, but I’d like to do something a bit more serious. I’d love to go back to work at Chelsea somewhere, somehow.”

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Such a move for Cole could be an interesting one, with Chelsea yet to follow the approach of the likes of Manchester City and Manchester United in bringing in former stars to fulfill a backroom role following on from their retirement. Whether or not Cole is a decent scout is unknown, but having him around Cobham and Stamford Bridge would be a boost to the squad.

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