Perhaps by the end of the summer, should Antonio Conte in fact take over Chelsea in the near future, we will have been linked with every viable and not-so-viable transfer target in the Serie A, be that at Juventus or Roma or, say, Bologna and their exciting collection of hot young talent.
While the rumors regarding Juve's players are rumbling along just fine, Chelsea also keep getting linked with several players at AS Roma on a regular basis. While we can't offer Champions League football, we can probably offer more money. So here's the latest on those three.
Perhaps Roma's best player this season, 25-year-old Pjanic has been linked with Chelsea before. He had been mostly known as a free kick specialist, but he's developed in a very well rounded midfielder over the last couple years, and, unsurprisingly, has attracted plenty of big money interest. And if Gazzetta dello Sport are to be believed, it would have to be big money indeed. Their claim of a €40m release clause has not been officially confirmed, but it does match similar claims from The Times last month.
Nainggolan would probably command a similar fee, if not more, should Chelsea actually make a move after all the rumors over the past few weeks and months. But while the rumors continue unabated, Nainggolan made sure to deny any such speculation once again.
"At the moment I have not heard from anyone about anything. I am happy here and I am happy to wear the Roma shirt, now let us concentrate on the end of the season."
-Radja Nainggolan; source: Il Tempo via Gazzetta World
Lastly, we come to the 24-year-old center back who was linked to Chelsea last summer as we scrambled at the last minute to sign a few players. We didn't succeed with Manolas then, and attempted to fill the void with Djilobodji and Michael Hector instead. The results were ... predictable. And so, the Manolas rumors are back and despite lacking a 'J' in his name, perhaps represent a more realistic option for defensive reinforcement over the Varane, Hummels, et al. dreamboats. The Mirror claim we could secure both Nainggolan and Manolas for a combined £45m. Maybe not be the best deal ever, but it may be the best we can do. (Though it sounds outrageously optimistic, if the report of Roma wanting £35m just for Manolas are true.)