Chelsea round-up: Conte could be replaced by German; Candreva talks held; Drinkwater nears move
In sensational news, German newspaper SportBILD report that relations between Antonio Conte and the Chelsea board have worsened to the point that the club are considering options to replace him. The leading candidate is believed to be former Borussia Dortmund manager Thomas Tuchel, with ex-Barcelona head coach Luis Enrique also under consideration.
Conte has cut an increasingly frustrated figure in recent weeks as the club’s summer transfer activity has proved to be highly disappointing. Conte did sign a new contract earlier this summer but significantly did not extend his deal beyond 2019, with many doubting his long term commitment to the cause.
In better news, the Mirror say that Chelsea have held talks with Inter Milan over the potential signing of experienced winger Antonio Candreva. The San Siro club have told the 30-year-old that he will be allowed to leave for a price of £25 million, which could be within Chelsea’s price range as an option at wing-back.
Candreva played under Conte with the Italian national team and could now join forces to compete with both Victor Moses and Marcos Alonso as he is able to play on both flanks. Usually a more offensive winger, he could also provide cover for the likes of Pedro, Eden Hazard and Willian in attack.
The club are also making progress in their talks with Leicester City over midfielder Danny Drinkwater, according to the same Mirror report. Chelsea’s initial bid of £15 million was rejected with Leicester holding out for £40 million to represent his value in the current market, but the two clubs are expected to come to a compromise at £30 million.
Drinkwater is known to be keen on the move and his desire to make the switch to Stamford Bridge could be crucial in forcing the Foxes to accept a price below their original valuation for the 27-year-old. Now, a deal could be done in the final week of the transfer window.
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