New Chelsea boss targeting Serie A-style midfield revamp
It’s only natural that incoming Premier League managers from foreign leagues target players they are familiar with and whose abilities they trust.
That theory looks like being put into practice again, this time over at Stamford Bridge where Antonio Conte is set to take up the Chelsea reins once his Euro 2016 commitments are fulfilled.
His current role as Italy boss don’t seem likely to prevent Conte planning for his Premier League future however, with Jose Mourinho’s permanent successor a heavily featured in recent gossip columns.
Given all Conte’s club management experience is isolated to Serie A, most of the links have predictably centred around stars of the Italian top flight, or those who’ve played under him.
The latest names in the mix strongly indicate that Conte is targeting central midfield as an area in need of shaking up in west London.
With Chelsea’s previously lauded central axis of Cesc Fabregas and Nemanja Matic coming under heavy scrutiny during the season, Conte may be thinking of a different direction next season in a bid to restore Champions League football.
Arturo Vidal, a player who was instrumental in landing the new Chelsea boss three successive Scudettos when in charge of Juventus is thought to be a chief target.
The Chilean is reportedly less than enamoured with life at new club Bayern Munich and given his strong affinity to the player, this is a situation that Conte is well placed to exploit.
Selling the idea of a season bereft of Champions League football is still an unenviable task though.
Meanwhile, Roma string-puller Miralem Pjanic is also on the Conte hitlist according to the London Evening Standard.
Pjanic has long been linked to a Premier League switch and after his most successful season in a Roma shirt in terms of goals, he is arguably at his most saleable if the Giallorossi are looking to cash in.
Chelsea fans would probably be most happy to see Vidal walk through the door in the summer, though at nearly three years his junior, 26-year-old Pjanic may have more to offer in the long term.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.