Reports: Chelsea make stunning bid for Juventus midfielder
Antonio Conte could have one of his favourite players by his side before the window closes
What's the story
Having watched Nemanja Matic being sold to immediate title rivals Manchester United, Antonio Conte wants to add further reinforcements to a central midfield that already boasts of the considerable talents of Cesc Fabregas, N'Golo Kante, and Tiemoue Bakayoko.
In this endeavour, he has been given great encouragement by reports emanating out of Italy, including here in Corriere Della Sera that Juventus' central midfield maestro Claudio Marchisio wants to leave! With Conte an ardent fan of the Italian midfielder - from his time working with him at Juve, of course - the Italian is reported to have convinced Chelsea to go ahead and make a bid for what would be a stunning capture.
In case you didn't know
Claudio Marchisio is a Juventus man through-and-through, having come up through the Bianconeri youth system (which he joined in 1993 aged just 7). He stuck with them through thick and thin - working his up from Serie B after Juve got relegated as punishment for the Calciopoli scandal they were involved in and through the years of mediocrity Juve faced in Serie A till Conte took over the helm in 2011.
Post then, there's been no looking back for both midfielder and club - their most dominant spell coming when Marchisio was part of a midfield trio that included Arturo Vidal and Andrea Pirlo... nicknamed MVP, the trio formed one of the greatest midfields to have graced the game in modern times.
The heart of the matter
Marchisio is said to be extremely disappointed in the treatment that has been meted out to him by Massimiliano Allegri, and AC Milan were the first team to come in sensing an opportunity (draw your own parallels with what Allegri did to Pirlo at Milan...) but the Italian's inherent sense of loyalty to his hometown club, and the Conte factor, could lead to the Stamford Bridge reaping the benefits of what appears to be a tension-filled Juve dressing room.
The midfielder at his best can be a joy to behold
He would add so much value to the Chelsea squad!
Although much more underrated than many of his contemporaries in the Serie A, Marchisio's talent is not up for debate - the man is pure quality and any squad would be the better off for his presence.
While he's been struggling with various injury ailments through his career - the worst of which happened in 2015/16, a cruciate ligament injury that kept him out of action for six months - he appears to have fully recovered, and might just be worth a punt for Conte who would love to have a trusted lieutenant in his dressing room.