Chelsea: Two defenders to sign; alternative striker solution; Remy to leave on loan
Antonio Conte has made his demands clear to Chelsea bosses, and the club are now confident of securing the services of at least two more defenders before the transfer window closes next week. The Telegraph say that Conte is desperate for reinforcements with only Branislav Ivanovic, Cesar Azpilicueta, John Terry and Gary Cahill available to him at this moment in time with Kurt Zouma out injured. Conte has given youth a chance in the opening fixtures, but feels that additions are necessary if the club are to compete for the title this season.
It is not yet known who the two men will be, but it is widely speculated that a move for Kalidou Koulibaly has been written off after Napoli have refused a final approach from the London club for their star centre-half. That means that attentions will now turn to Torino’s Nikola Maksimovic and AC Milan’s Alessio Romagnoli in central defence, with Stephan Lichtsteiner eyed at right-back and Ricardo Rodriguez of Wolfsburg also targeted at left back. Of the four, Rodriguez seems the most unlikely given interest from the likes of Real Madrid, but it seems clear that at least two more will be added.
This news may have been influenced by a decision which has been reported in Metro, which claims that Antonio Conte has decided to abandon his search for a striker as all of his preferred targets have become unavailable. The club have been rebuffed in moves for Alvaro Morata and Romelu Lukaku, with rumours also indicating that initial approaches were made for Mauro Icardi of Inter Milan, but none of those have been successful.
The Italian has been impressed by Diego Costa and new boy Michy Batshuayi who have scored three of the club’s four league goals to date, with the Belgian adding two more in the EFL Cup tie against Bristol Rovers this week. Conte has also been impressed with the performances of youngster Reuben Loftus-Cheek according to Sky Sports with the youngster filling in as a striker at times and impressing to date.
This will also allow Loic Remy to depart Stamford Bridge where he is no longer wanted, with the Express reporting that West Ham are chasing a loan move for the Frenchman to resolve their current injury crisis. Remy is yet to figure for the Blues this term and has been expected to depart this summer, though no move has yet been completed.
Chelsea may prefer a permanent move for the unwanted player, but they would certainly accept a loan move if no other offers are forthcoming. Given West Ham’s desperation to add another forward after record signing Andre Ayew tore his hamstring on his debut at Stamford Bridge, the Blues are in a strong negotiating position but the Hammers are known to always seek a bargain and will not be taken for fools by Chelsea even though they are very keen to secure Remy’s services.
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