Reports: Chelsea in the race to sign Inter Milan star Antonio Candreva
What's the story?
Chelsea have been handed a boost in their pursuit of Inter Milan winger Antonio Candreva according to English outlet Mirror. The Serie A giants have lined up Lazio winger Keita Baldé as a replacement and will be willing to let the 30-year-old leave if the right offer came from the Premier League holders.
The report further suggests that a bid of around £23 million could convince the 3-time Champions League winners to sell the Italian international.
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Antonio Conte, the former Italy national team manager, is a big admirer of Candreva and the versatility he provides to a team. He tried signing him for the London club in the January transfer window, but the two clubs were not able to agree on a deal back then.
The winger was integral to Italy's run in the European Championships last year, playing both as a wing back and also as a midfielder for Antonio Conte's side.
The heart of the matter
Chelsea have made three major signings this summer with Antonio Rudiger (£33.3m, Roma), Tiemoue Bakayoko (£39.7m, Monaco), and Alvaro Morata (£58m, Real Madrid) all heading to Stamford Bridge. However, an integral part of Conte's 3-4-3 system requires two specialist wingbacks, a position which at the moment, looks short on numbers for the Blues.
Candreva's move to Chelsea would make sure that the gap is filled, and the Italian will provide much-needed competition for Victor Moses on the right flank.
The signing of Antonio Candreva seems to be hinged on Inter Milan's pursuit of Keita Baldé. It is important to note that Blade has been linked with a number of clubs, with Juventus being one among them.
Another subplot to the story could be the future of Manchester United target Ivan Perisic. Given that he is likely to move before the end of the current transfer window, Inter Milan might not be willing to lose out on two experiences wingers in the same window.
there is no denying that Chelsea look short on numbers at wing back positions, the potential signing of Candreva seems to be a complicated one. With the vast number of variables in the equation, the Blues might be better served looking for an alternative for the Italian international.
Arsenal’s England international Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is apparently surplus to requirements at the Emirates, and a move for the former Southampton man could represent shrewd business for the Stamford Bridge hierarchy.