5 players Antonio Conte wants to sign, boss at odds with Chelsea over transfer targets
Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte and the club’s hierarchy are again at odds over transfer policy, according to The Times.
The Italian is concerned that the Blues’ recruitment team have not assembled a squad capable of defending their Premier League title and challenging in the Champions League. But Conte is in a stand-off with the club over what reinforcements should be made.
He is only focused on building a team capable of fulfilling targets for the 2017/18 campaign, whereas the board wants to make signings with a view to long-term planning. The Stamford Bridge bosses are reportedly blocking moves for some of Conte’s top targets because they would have no resale value.
5 players Antonio Conte wants to sign
1. Fernando Llorente
The Swansea City striker has been linked with Chelsea throughout the current window. At the age of 32, the Spain international would probably be signing his last contract. Llorente is keen to have his physical presence as an alternative and mentor to club record signing Alvaro Morata.
2. Ivan Perisic
Croatia international Perisic, aged 28, has been linked with the Blues and Manchester United this summer. He would probably be the wrong side of 30 by the time Chelsea wanted to move him on.
3. Virgil van Dijk
At the age of 26, wantaway Southampton skipper Van Dijk is closer to the profile the Chelsea board would prefer, but his value would be much lower by the time he reached the end of a four or five-year contract.
4. Antonio Candreva
Conte is keen to strengthen on the flanks. Inter Milan winger Candreva, aged 30, is viewed as the man to provide cover and competition for Victor Moses at right wing-back.
5. Alex Sandro
Italian champions Juventus seem to have headed off Chelsea’s interest in their Brazilian left-back Alex Sandro by slapping a £60m price tag on him. He is also aged 26, so would have the same pros and cons as Van Dijk.