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Chelsea: Left-back deal sealed; Middlesbrough man scouted; more on kit deal

Despite the impressive performances of left-back and summer signing Marcos Alonso in his new wing-back role in Antonio Conte’s preferred system, it seems that the Italian is still on the lookout for further depth in the position with Cesar Azpilicueta looking comfortable in a central role, and Wolfsburg’s Swiss full-back Ricardo Rodriguez could be that man, claim the Guardian.

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There was speculation linking the attacking defender with a move to London in the summer, with the likes of Real Madrid also said to be tracking him, but it remains unclear what the details of any deal could be if Rodriguez is to move to the Blues with Conte keen on sealing the deal in January if possible.

Another potential addition to the Blues’ backline could be Middlesbrough defender Ben Gibson. The 23-year-old has shone in the Premier League this campaign, with calm and composed performances whilst dominating a number of top quality strikers. The Daily Mail claim that scouts are set to attend Boro’s trip to the Emirates to face Arsenal this weekend to assess whether he is worth a move for Conte, who sees him as an alternative to Michael Keane in the bid to replace John Terry long-term.

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Gibson has impressed so far this season and has been linked with his first England call-up for the November World Cup qualifier against Scotland and friendly against Spain at Wembley. Middlesbrough may be reluctant to allow him to leave without an astronomical fee, but Conte is desperate to add at least one central defender to the ranks in January.

Such an astronomical fee may now be within reach of the club following the £900 million agreement with Nike for a new kit deal, as more details slowly emerge. However, the Express claim that head of global commercial activity Christian Purslow, formerly of Liverpool, is being kept quiet as his contract stipulates that he cannot speak to the media despite his superb negotiating.

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Whilst at Liverpool, Purslow developed a reputation as outspoken, with Gary Neville once labeling him a “clueless fool” after comments about Manchester United. Now at Stamford Bridge, he has brought business expertise which have produced deals such as this one with Nike, but is firmly being kept quiet in the media.

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