Kicking-off Saturday’s Chelsea transfer round-up are reports suggesting new Blues boss Antonio Conte is willing to offer Juan Cuadrado a second chance at Stamford Bridge.
The Columbia signed for the club in January 2015 from Fiorentina but was seen as a big-money flop after he failed to impress in his first season and subsequently joined Juventus on-loan.
The Serie A champions are keen to sign him on a permanent basis but, according to the Daily Mail, Conte feels the Colombian winger will thrive under his new regime.
With the Italian head coach expected to operate with a 3-5-2 system at Stamford Bridge next term, just like he did in Turin, Cuadrado will feel right at home.
He gained a reputation for being one of Europe’s best wing-backs during his time in Florence, where he terrorised the opposition down the right-flank.
He played 85 league matches for Fiorentina in two and a half seasons, netting on 20 occasions, before making his move to London.
Cuadrado made a further 28 Serie A appearances for Juventus last term – who have continued to favour a wing-back formation since Conte’s departure – weighing in with four goals and five assists.
His pace and impressive stamina levels make him the perfect player in this wide role and, with Chelsea set to operate in this fashion, it would make little sense to let him leave.[separator type=”thin”]
Meanwhile, there is a glimmer of positive news for Chelsea in the race for Dimitri Payet.
According to the Evening Standard, West Ham fear the 29-year-old may become impossible to hold onto if he continues to impress at Euro 2016.
Understandably, the Hammers have no desire to cash in on their brilliant attacking midfielder. However, should the big boys come calling, they may be unable to resist their advances.
The Frenchman has been in sparkling form this summer, which is little more than a continuation of his excellent debut Premier League season.
He has been the player of the tournament so far, as well as the competition’s most threatening player, topping the goal scoring (two goals) and creativity charts (14 key passes) after two games.
Spanish giants Real Madrid are also believed to be interested, but a bidding war with the La Liga runners-up is unlikely to deter an Abramovich-backed Chelsea.
If Payet fancies a big-money move this summer, but still feels he has unfinished business in the Premier League, then Stamford Bridge will be his likely destination.
After a miserable season from Oscar, you could say the Blues are lacking a consistent performer in the number 10 role – a position the Frenchman has proven he can excel in.
With Conte undoubtedly preparing his side for a title challenge next season, the man who recorded nine goals and 12 assists last time out would be a fantastic addition.
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