According to the Guardian, Chelsea are set to “step up” efforts this week to sign Juventus left back Alex Sandro and Monaco midfielder Tiemoué Bakayoko. These efforts involve an improved bid for the Juve defender and nonspecific action for Bakayoko.
Having seen bids of €40m, €50m, and possibly as much as €60m rejected, Chelsea are now set to test Juve’s resolve with £55m, which translates roughly to €62.5m. With other reports claiming that Alex Sandro is very much keen to agree to earn twice his current wages at Chelsea, and Juve chairman Beppe Marotta leaving the door ajar for the left back to ask for a transfer away — and Juventus increasingly linked with potential replacements — this could indeed turn into a serious possibility for the Blues. While left back doesn’t immediately stand out as a position on which to spend a club-record transfer fee (which is still the £50m spend on Torres in January 2011), we saw just how crucial the wing-backs are to the efficient operation of the 3-4-3 and Marcos Alonso cannot once again be expected to handle the entire left flank by himself the entire season.
On the Bakayoko front, the Guardian’s report doesn’t claim anything specific just that Chelsea are expecting to make “progress” and seal the deal around £40m, having previous been reported to be close to doing so at £35m. This deal with Monaco seems to have a penchant for stalling, though Chelsea also hinted earlier at not announcing any new signings before July 1st, so even if progress is made here and an actual agreement reached, we’re unlikely to hear of it for a couple more weeks.
The Guardian also briefly mention new backup goalkeeper Willy Caballero arriving on a free transfer on July 1, as well as Chelsea’s confidence in Conte agreeing to the £9.6-a-year deal that’s on the table. Apparently we’ve been in regular contact with Conte’s agent, to negotiate this and hopefully to head off any palpable discord.