Chelsea boss Antonio Conte will be supported in the transfer market heavily by Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich to ensure Chelsea challenge for the Premier League and Champions League titles next season.
According to The Independent, Conte wants six new signings at Chelsea to add strength in depth as he looks to build upon this season’s success.
Conte will seek to sign at least one striker, depending on the future of Diego Costa; a central defender; another left-sided central defender; a roaming forward for behind the striker; a central midfielder and a back-up goalkeeper given Asmir Begovic’s departure in pursuit of regular first-team football.
25-year-old Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk is Conte’s top defensive target. Southampton chairman recently stated his club might reject an offer of £60 million for Van Dijk so this signing might prove to be a difficult one for Chelsea.
Monaco’s Tiemoué Bakayoko is Conte’s top transfer target for central midfield. Manchester United are reportedly in Bakayoko but Chelsea are confident of signing the France international.
If Diego Costa’s rejects a big-money move to China and remain at Chelsea, Conte will sign either Everton’s Romelu Lukaku or Real Madrid’s Alvaro Morata. Conte will seek to bring both strikers to Chelsea if Costa leaves. Chelsea may also revive the January interest in Swansea City’s Fernando Llorente according to the report.
Conte wants a roaming forward and Napoli’s Dries Mertens has been identified as the perfect fit for the role but the report also claim Napoli are determined to keep the Belgian.
The Independent also claim that there might be one or two sales along with Begovic to help fund a spree that would likely surpass £200m.