Chelsea: PSG midfielder targeted; Bonucci move still likely; Costa injury blow
Antonio Conte has identified Paris Saint-Germain’s Italian midfielder Marco Verratti as a top transfer target in January to allow him to sell Cesc Fabregas and to ensure there is no shortage of midfield options when John Obi Mikel departs at the end of his contract, claim the Mirror.
The 24-year-old central midfielder is not likely to come cheaply, with him being very highly rated in Paris and has started seven of a possible twelve Ligue 1 games this campaign under Unai Emery, and the club will not be under any financial pressure to sell.
Midfield is one area for improvement for Conte, but another is in defence, where the Guardian report that Juventus centre-back Leonardo Bonucci remains the top target for the Italian as he looks to bring in players who will perfectly fit his system, something that Bonucci has already adapted to with Juventus and Italy.
The 29-year-old is in demand with both Manchester clubs also chasing his signature and the Turin club demanding a fee of at least £50 million in order to persuade them to part with their defensive leader, who could be a short term replacement for Blues legend John Terry.
On a less positive note, El Confidencial have said that Diego Costa arrived for training with the Spanish national team nursing a groin injury which could see him miss the World Cup qualifier against Georgia and friendly against England at Wembley.
Spain manager Julian Lopetegui considered sending Costa back to London to return to Chelsea so that his injury could be monitored, but has opted against that and decided that the striker will remain with the squad in the hope that he may be fit enough to feature in either or both of the fixtures and add to his 12 caps and three goals on the international stage.
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