Chelsea round-up: Juventus prepare move for forward; Conte backs Zappacosta; Sagna was close to joining
Chelsea may have to brace themselves for a January raid for forward Pedro from Serie A giants Juventus, according to The Guardian. The Spaniard has found form of late after his pre-season was disrupted by a facial injury and then an ankle injury and sending off in the Community Shield defeat to Arsenal.
The winger was a key part of Antonio Conte’s attacking gameplan last season and looks likely to take up such a prominent role once again this campaign. It’s not a surprise to see other clubs linked with the former Barcelona man, but it would be a shock if Chelsea were to sanction a departure.
Pedro is unlikely to be required to drop into a wing-back role this campaign though, owing to the signing of Davide Zappacista on deadline day. Antonio Conte is quoted by Metro as discussing the arrival of the former Torino wing-back as he said:
“Davide is a good player he is a young player he has a lot of space to improve. He made good runs during the game [for Italy] has good quality and is a wing-back. He prefers to play on the right but can play on the left – he is ready and very soon you will see. For Davide this is a great chance you arrive in a great club it’s important to go into this club with the right mentality and it’s not easy to play for great club. Turin is a good team with great history in the past and I know there is pressure. But to play in another country another type of football is not easy for him but he has the right characteristics to adapt very soon.”
Zappcosta will look to push both Victor Moses and Marcos Alonso this season as he looks to find a regular spot in the starting eleven. Such competition will be most welcome for Conte.
He was also clearly a preferred choice over former Arsenal and Manchester City full-back Bacary Sagna. French newspaper L’Equipe claim that the Frenchman came close to joining the Blues late on in the transfer window but a move collapsed, likely due to the signing of Zappacosta.
Sagna’s experience and availability as a free agent may have made him an attractive option, but he was clearly not the club’s top target in the position.