If the ongoing reports are to be believed, Antonio Conte is hot favourite to be named as the next Chelsea manager. The former Juventus manager is likely to take charge at Stamford Bridge after his contract with the Italy national team expires at the end of the Euro this summer. Naturally, there is huge excitement and buzz about what type of players Antonio Conte can bring with him at Chelsea and here we have picked up 5 players from Serie A who can join the Blues this summer.
Gonzalo Higuain (Napoli)
Antonio Conte always prefers to play two strikers up front. However, Chelsea have been playing with a single striker formation over the past few seasons. Generally with Diego Costa up front, Chelsea have to bring in another quality striker to pair with him. Also with Costa’s injury-prone nature, the Italian manager will want a striker who can lead the attack in his absence and occasionally provide a tip or two to other strikers like Remy and Traore. And here comes the likes of Gonzalo Higuain, who is enjoying an outstanding season with Napoli. The Argentine has scored 26 goals with 2 assists this term in Serie A, while last season season he netted 18 goals and created 48 chances in all competitions. The year before his goal count was 17. So scoring regularly and creating chances just doesn’t look to be the Argentine’s problem. With other EPL giants like Liverpool and Arsenal also on his trail, Conte would not like to waste any time and bring in the prolific striker as soon as he takes charge at Chelsea.
Paul Pogba (Juventus)
Conte has been a great admirer Pogba for long time. It was Conte who signed the young Frenchman at Juventus and offered him a new life after the controversial teenager’s frustrated time with Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United. And since then everybody knows, what a signing he has been. Arguably, one of the most sought after teenage footballer in world football currently.
Recent reports have suggested that Barcelona have given up their long-term interest in Paul Pogba as Arda Turan and Sergi Roberto performing well enough reight now and also La Masia products knocking on the first team door. With Chelsea looking for a overhaul this summer, the talented French attacker should be the first man Conte might sign. Even though Pogba can operate in a variety of midfield roles, Conte might look to put the Frenchman in a central position and build the team around him.
Radja Nainggolan (Roma)
The Italian manager is also a big admirer of Roma’s Radja Nainggolan and if the recent reports are true, Chelsea have certainly earmarked him as one of the top priority signings for the upcoming summer transfer window. Nainggolan is known for his tenacity in the middle of the park but the Belgian will chip in with a goal every once in a while. If Conte gets the job, he will definitely persuade the Roma midfielder to do Jon Obi Mikel and Nemanja Matic’s dirty work next season. Nainggolan has proved himself as one of the key members for Roma over the past few seasons, and has slowly cemented his place in the Belgium national team as well.
Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus)
Bonucci comes with a talismanic influence for the Bianconeri not because of his defensive actions or his role in the build-up play. He also pops up with extraordinary goals at crucial moments, such as his driven volley from outside the penalty box to snatch a 3-2 victory over Roma last season. However no final decision has yet been made on Terry’s future at Stamford Bridge which will be Antonio Conte’s call when he takes charge after the Euro as Roman Abramovich’s 11th managerial appointment. 28-yeray-old Bonucci, would not be a simple deal for Chelsea to pull off with the player having signed a new five-year deal at Juventus last summer but, as with all their managers, Chelsea are always keen to back their man in the transfer market and Bonucci would be an idean replacement for an aging Terry.
Kostas Manolas (Roma)
With John Terry aging much faster due to persistent fitness issues and Kurt Zouma returning from an injury that might impact his athleticism, the 24-year-old Roma star would not be a bad transfer target for Chelsea. Manolas has played 28 Serie A and 8 Champions League games this season, missing only one match since August of last year. But with speculations going on that Chelsea may use their loanees next season and defender Andreas Christensen having a great time in Bundesliga, a Manolas transfer looks a bit not happening thing. Nevertheless, Conte could still look to reinforce in areas of need and the defense clearly require some improvement from what they showed this season.