Reports: Chelsea to offer player+cash for Antonio Candreva
Antonio Conte wants to add depth to his squad as he prepares his side for the exertions of European football.
What's the story?
Chelsea seem to have shed the baggage of their initial transfer disappointments and are now batting their eyes at Inter Milan's Antonio Candreva. According to Tuttosport, the Stamford Bridge outfit are ready to include 21-year-old defender Andreas Christensen in a stunning player+cash deal in a bid to tempt Inter to part with their versatile utility midfielder.
Candreva is valued at around £23m by the Nerazzurri and Conte is willing to go the extra mile to complete the signing of the 30-year-old before the window closes.
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Chelsea have had to endure quite a few knockbacks in this transfer window which saw them lose out on Lukaku, and Danilo while a deal for Alex Sandro remains in limbo.
As Chelsea return to the Champions League after a year's absence, Conte will need to fortify their ranks and enhance the depth of their squad. Conte, who had a successful stint managing Juventus in the Serie A, has first-hand knowledge of Candreva's exploits and has identified the Italian as his top priority.
The heart of the matter
Chelsea's wide players flourished in the Premier League last season as a reinvigorated Victor Moses and Marcos Alonso showed up in all their glory week in and week out. But a return to Europe's elite competition has ushered in a new obstacle in Conte's course and hence arises the need for adequate squad depth.
With the arrival of Antonio Rudiger from AS Roma, youngster Andreas Christensen's hopes of becoming a mainstay in Chelsea's line up have been dealt a big blow. The 21-year-old centre-back spent two years on loan at Borussia Monchengladbach and would have been hoping that his formidable showings in Germany would be enough to earn him a place at Stamford Bridge.
His father had even gone on record saying, "Andreas should not sit on the bench. He has played solidly for two seasons. Therefore, it is also planned for the future that he will play every week."
Unfortunately, the young Denmark international will find himself playing in Italy if Inter are willing to take up Chelsea's offer.
Candreva, meanwhile, was effective for Inter down the flanks, scoring six goals and providing 10 assists for the Nerazzurri in Serie A.
Conte also worked with Candreva during his stint as the Italian national team's coach.
Chelsea's intentions are pretty straightforward. With European battles to endure this season, Conte's side will need reinforcements lest fatigue drives their stable to the ground. In Candreva, they would have a versatile player who can fill in as a full back, winger, central midfielder or striker. The two-footed Italian, however, does not have age on his side.
Christensen, meanwhile, was very impressive in the Bundesliga and it is a pity that he has been deemed surplus to requirements at Stamford Bridge. If he moves to Inter, he will miss out on playing in the Champions League. It's a tricky situation for both clubs.