Chelsea: Free agent targeted; Conte wants to keep defender; international round-up

The transfer window is closed, but Antonio Conte is still looking to strengthen his squad according to the Express. They report that Chelsea are interested in a move for free agent Martin Caceres, who played for under the Italian head coach at Juventus. His contract expired at the end of last season and he has yet to find a new club, despite having talks with Napoli, AC Milan and Inter Milan. The Uruguayan failed to reach an agreement with any of these clubs, which has left the door open for Conte to bring him to Stamford Bridge.

 

Chelsea brought in two defenders on deadline day, but this report suggests that Conte remains in the market for further reinforcements at the back. It would be a low risk move for Chelsea as no transfer fee is involved. Conte would be interested in a deal, as Caceres is capable of filling in anywhere across the back line, while he fully understands the manager’s style of play as he has worked under him before. Chelsea don’t usually operate in the free agent market, but Caceres has a lot of experience at the top level and would be a good option to have in the squad.

There was a lot of speculation about Andreas Christensen this summer, as Borussia Monchengladbach want to secure a permanent deal for the centre back. Regular watchers of the Bundesliga believe that he is Chelsea’s best centre back, even though he is currently not at the club. He has impressed since moving on loan to Monchengladbach and will be playing in the Champions League this season, unlike his parent club. This report on Football365 will reassure Chelsea fans, as they state that Antonio Conte is determined to keep Christensen at the club and has offered him reassurances that he will get first team football when he returns from his loan spell.

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The Dane is only 20 years old and Chelsea sent him out to gain senior experience as this was unlikely to come at Stamford Bridge. During his time at Chelsea, he made just one appearance in the Premier League and that came as a late substitute. His rapid rise has been excellent to watch, but it has highlighted some problems with Chelsea’s approach to the loan market. Over the past few years, the club have stockpiled young talent and sent them out across Europe on various loan spells. This season, they have sent an incredible 38 players out on loan. A downfall of this is that some of these loaned out players could develop quickly and then look for a permanent move away as there isn’t a clear route into the first team at Chelsea. Christensen is an exciting young player and Chelsea need to keep him at their club. If they don’t, it will be a costly error.

In the international matches on Sunday, Chelsea had several representatives. The only first team regular at Chelsea that played for their country yesterday was Gary Cahill, who started for England in Sam Allardyce’s first match as manager. He helped England secure a clean sheet and looked solid throughout. The centre back was a threat from corners and will be happy with his first match for England after Euro 2016. His long term future is uncertain at international level, but this was a promising start under the new manager.

 

Other highlights include Andreas Christensen starting his first competitive match for Denmark and Bertrand Traore scoring a dramatic extra time winner to secure Burkina Faso a place in next year’s African Cup of Nations. Although both players are currently out on loan, they are expected to play a prominent role in the future at Stamford Bridge. Antonio Conte will be encouraged by Christensen’s performance as he played a key part in a Denmark clean sheet in a back three, which suggests he is comfortable in the Italian’s favoured formation. Meanwhile, Traore has struggled to score at Ajax since joining on loan, but this crucial goal for his country should boost his confidence in front of goal.

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