Simply put, Chelsea need to a sign a top defender this summer. John Terry is on his last legs, Kurt Zouma’s future is in midfield and Gary Cahill is, well, Gary Cahill. Ultimately, they no longer boast a solid, reliable defence and Italian master Antonio Conte will make plenty of defensive changes before the new season. The new Chelsea boss will team up with the squad at some point in the next week or so and Blues fans will be quietly confident ahead of the new campaign.
And that leaves the door open for somebody like Leonardo Bonucci. The Juventus star was simply sublime for Italy at Euro 2016, offering a man of the match performance in the Azzuri’s 2-0 defeat of Spain in the Round of 16, and Conte will be keen to take Bonucci with him to Stamford Bridge. Although he isn’t the youngest, you know what you’re getting with him; he is reliable, aggressive and he is organised – all in all, he’s a typical Italian centre-back and Chelsea would prosper from his experience and leadership skills if nothing else.
According to reports, the Serie A champions turned down an incredible £38 million bid from Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City and Roman Abramovich could hijack any potential deal with an improved bid for the Italian star. After all, Conte knows Bonucci very well and the Juve man may be more inclined to team up with the former Italy manager as he looks to build a dynasty era at Stamford Bridge.
Whether the Blues sign Bonucci or not, one thing’s for sure: Chelsea WILL be much stronger this season. While they probably won’t go on to win the Premier League title, they will certainly be competing for one of the coveted Champions League spots.
In an ideal world, Conte and Abramovich will do everything in their power to convince Bonucci to make the move to the Premier League. However, a deal may be difficult if Juventus are going to be stubborn in the transfer market. If Chelsea play their cards right, they may be able to sway Bonucci and then the club will be more inclined to let him go but as of July 7th, a deal doesn’t look plausible.
Another of the many names being touted as a potential transfer target is Napoli man Kalidou Koulibaly.
The Senegal star is strong and looks the real deal but Napoli’s valuation of £34 million may be a little steep, especially considering the fact that he is relatively unproven in the grand scheme of things. At 25-years-old, he is entering his peak years and there’s no reason why Chelsea cannot keep an eye on him this season and consider a bid for Koulibaly next summer…
Abramovich now has a choice: take a gamble on Koulibaly or go all out and pay up for the proven Bonucci. And it isn’t hard to guess which player most Chelsea fans would prefer…