Antonio Conte will compete with Pep Guardiola’s spending at Manchester City as Chelsea has sanctioned another four signings for the Italian manager, according to reports.
City has already surpassed the £200 million (about $261 million) mark for signings this summer, while Conte is at £119 million, having brought in Antonio Rudiger, Tiemoue Bakayoko and Alvaro Morata .
Having agreed a new contract at Stamford Bridge , despite suggestions he could leave this summer, Conte is set to make more signings this summer to compete with City, the Daily Mail says.
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The Italian coach won the Premier League in his first year in English football last season, but insists his team must be strengthened. “Now, I have decided with the club to continue our path,” Conte said, as quoted by the Mail on Sunday . “I repeat, we are a great club but we are in a moment where we can’t make a mistake because it’s very dangerous. We don’t have a lot of space to make mistakes. We need to improve and increase our squad to be something important for the present, and also for our future.”
Chelsea manager Antonio Conte at National Stadium, Singapore, July 24. Lionel Ng/Getty
There are four players Conte reportedly wants to sign. The first is Juventus left-back Alex Sandro, who has been a target for Chelsea throughout this summer as Conte looks to strengthen the full-back position that is so crucial in his 3-4-3 formation.
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Sandro, the 26-year-old Brazilian, has been valued at £60 million, which would see him become the world’s most expensive defender, taking the record from Kyle Walker just weeks after he joined City for £54 million.
Alongside Sandro in the Chelsea defense, Conte wants to see Virgil van Dijk brought in. The Dutch defender is reportedly training alone at Southampton after telling manager Mauricio Pellegrino that he wants to leave.
Liverpool has been a long-term admirer of the center back but irritated Southampton after pursuing Van Dijk earlier in the summer. Liverpool ended up officially ending its interest in the player and apologizing to Southampton.
Chelsea, however, has kept tabs on Van Dijk without upsetting Southampton in the hope that it garners favor should the club end up selling him. Like Sandro, Van Dijk is expected to cost around £60 million.
In the midfield, Conte reportedly wants to bring Antonio Candreva from Inter Milan to Stamford Bridge, a player he worked with in the Italian national team. The 30-year-old is a versatile midfielder, capable of playing on the right and in the wing-back position Conte favors. Chelsea reportedly believes it can get Candreva for £30 million despite only moving from Lazio last summer.
The last target, one Chelsea has been linked with ever since Conte arrived in west London, is Swansea striker Fernando Llorente. Conte worked with the Spaniard at Juventus and wants him to act as back up to £70 million signing Morata.
SOURCE :The Nigerian Voice (sport)