Chelsea could be set to make one of the most sensational signings of the January transfer window, with the Spanish source Don Balon reporting that Antonio Conte could be about to make a move for former Manchester United player Angel Di Maria. The ex-Real Madrid man has grown unhappy under Unai Emery at Paris Saint Germain and is keen on a return to the Premier League despite a disappointing spell at Old Trafford where he was often played out of position.
Conte is a long term admirer of the Argentinian and believes that he could provide exactly the kind of clinical attacking threat out wide that his side is lacking, with Willian still not hitting form, Oscar struggling and Eden Hazard producing inconsistent displays. Having signed for PSG last summer for £44 million, a hefty fee may be needed to secure Di Maria, but as a Champions League winner and World Cup finalist he certainly has the credentials and has been a long term target for Conte since his Juventus days.
Off the field, young loanee striker Patrick Bamford, currently on loan at Burnley, has been forced to apologise after liking Instagram posts from Hector Bellerin and Mesut Ozil showing them celebrating their convincing victory over the Blues last weekend. The 23-year-old has said that he only liked them as they were posts from his friends and he intended no disrespect, after his actions had angered a number of Chelsea fans who were already on edge after a very poor display from their side at the Emirates.
With just two substitute appearances to his name since joining Burnley on loan, Bamford may not have long left at Stamford Bridge with his contract set to expire in the summer. Since shining in the Football League for the likes of MK Dons, Derby County and Middlesbrough, he has failed to take that form into the Premier League, making only two starts in the top flight despite having appeared for three clubs, the Clarets, Norwich, and Crystal Palace.
Another loanee who is yet to play much of a role for his club is central midfielder Mario Pasalic, currently on loan at AC Milan. His role to date has included being an unused substitute three times and failing to make the bench twice since signing, leading to speculation that Milan would send him back to the Blues having been disappointed with his quality. However, his agent denies that, saying:
“He has not played because according to coach Montella he is a little ‘back in physical condition’ because he didn’t do the physical training with the others as he was still recovering from injury.”
The 21-year-old Croatian is another loanee whose contract will expire in the summer unless offered a new deal, so he will see the importance of forcing himself into the first team picture at the San Siro, even if it is only to help him secure a move elsewhere, following previous loan spells at Monaco and Elche.
Featured Image: All rights reserved by Federico Civerchia.