Antonio Conte has met with Roman Abramovich for crunch contract talks say The Times. After a slow start to the summer has seen the club yet to make a signing, falling behind competitors like Liverpool, Manchester United and Manchester City, Conte is believed to have sought reassurances from the Russian owner.
The duo are believed to have agreed that Diego Costa will be sold this summer whilst also discussing a range of structural changes to the club. In a rare meeting between the two, Conte made clear the main areas he felt need improving ahead of the coming season and discussed the potential arrivals of Tiemoue Bakayoko and Alex Sandro.
Yahoo Sports have expanded on the potential arrivals of the Monaco and Juventus stars by saying that they will be just two of eight arrivals this summer, if the Italian boss gets his way. They claim that Conte wants “another top-class central midfielder, one physically powerful central defender, a new right back, a winger, and two central strikers”.
That would be some shopping list even for a club as rich as Chelsea and it seems unlikely that even Roman Abramovich would be willing or able to fund all of those additions. However, if the likes of Diego Costa, Nemanja Matic and others are sold, then it could raise some much needed funds.
However, Conte will be desperate to cling onto goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois and that is looking less likely than ever. After speculation earlier this summer linking him with a return to Spain, The Sun quote his agent Christophe Henrotay as saying:
“Of course Thibaut is of interest to the big clubs, including the latest Champions League winner. He’s someone who helps you win games, titles. I meet regularly those in charge at Real Madrid, and Thibaut’s case has come up. My role is to keep him updated on the situation.”
The Belgian spent two seasons on loan at Real’s city rivals Atletico and has often spoken of his desire to one day return to the Spanish capital. Chelsea will be hoping that it is merely a ploy by Henrotay to help his client in contract negotiations.
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