Chelsea plot \u00a395m splurge on two massive signings [Guardian]


The summer transfer window has so far been disappointing for Chelsea given their attractive status as Premier League champions and Champions League returnees.

Antonio Conte is thought to be growing frustrated with their lack of progress in the market and subsequently hesitating to put pen to paper on a new contract.

Chelsea – who have signed just four players since the Italian took over last summer – have a squad with plenty of room for improvement despite narrowly missing out on a league and cup double last season.

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No Blues fan needs reminding that Conte did remarkably well to steer his new team back to the forefront of English football after finishing tenth under Jose Mourinho and Guus Hiddink in 2015-16.

But having exceeded all expectations during his debut campaign, the 47-year-old requesting the club to invest in strengthening his squad is far from unreasonable.

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Conte is on the hunt for players who are tailor-made for his hugely successful 3-4-3 formation.

For this reason, Juventus wingback Alex Sandro and Monaco midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko are two of his main targets.

Chelsea have seen bids for both men turned down by their respective clubs, but their long-standing interest looks set to evolve into an all-out pursuit for their signatures.

The Guardian reports the west London club will part with roughly £95 million to tempt Juve and Monaco into doing business.

It is understood that a £40 million deal for Bakayoko is on the verge of completion, while an offer of £55 million will be enough to land Sandro.

The proposed offer for the latter would make the Brazilian the most expensive Chelsea signing ever – an outcome that became all the more likely following comments made by Juve general manager Beppe Marotta.

“But I don’t know what he [Sandro] thinks about the interest,” he said over the weekend.

“Players are masters of their own destinies.”

Apart from having a Premier League medal and Champions League football among his drawcards, Conte is in a strong position to pull off at least a couple significant signings.

The uncertainty surrounding his contract situation also enables him to negotiate with the Chelsea hierarchy to pledge their financial support for any major transfer endeavours this summer.

Conte has plenty going for him right now and it’s surely only a matter of time before he gets the ball rolling in the market.

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