Chelsea's billionaire owner Roman Abramovich has informed coach Antonio Conte that he is prepared to break the world transfer record for a defender in a bid to lure Leonardo Bonucci from Juventus in the January transfer window.
Abramovich is reportedly ready to buy 5 new players as he looks to overhaul the squad in order to win the Premier League. The billionaire had lunch with Conte after Chelsea's training session last week and the two spoke about how the club can become one of Europe's best clubs.
As reported in the Telegraph, Juventus centre-back Leonardo Bonucci has been identified as the perfect player to lead the defense and Chelsea could pay in excess of £50 million to secure the player. Paris Saint-Germain holds the world transfer fee record for a defender as they bought David Luiz for £50 million from Chelsea in 2014.
Chelsea are still looking for an ageing John Terry’s replacement and new signing David Luiz has looked unconvincing despite his move from PSG this summer for a fee of £30 million. Following a disastrous season, Chelsea have suffered early defeats to Liverpool and Arsenal this season as well, losing some ground in the race for the title.
The defense line seems to be the biggest problem this season as the London side had conceded nine goals prior to last weekend. Against Hull City, Conte switched to a back three and Chelsea managed to keep a clean sheet as they won 2-0.
Reportedly, officials from Juventus and Inter Milan were in London this week, but it remains unclear as to what the purpose of their visit was. It could be for Chelsea's interest in either Inter midfielder Marcelo Brozovic or Bonucci.
Bonucci, regarded as one of the best defenders in the world, played under Conte for three years at Juventus and also in the Italy squad. Conte and Bonucci seemed to enjoy a healthy relationship with each other as they worked closely with the Italian centre-back praising his ex- boss.
He said, “Conte will be a big success in England, Chelsea are already a very good team and he will have them challenging both in England and in Europe.”
“He is the boss, and if you listen to him and show him respect, you will see he is one of the best bosses in the game. The players in the Italy team nicknamed him The Godfather. That means when he talks, you listen. You do what he says and you don’t argue. Players want to listen, though.”
Manchester City is also interested in Bonucci and could contest Chelsea for the defender in January. Conte is also looking at home-grown talent, with Machester United academy graduate, Micheal Keane, who plays for Burnley, as one of the options.
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