clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Conte remains keen on Leonardo Bonucci and Riyad Mahrez — report

New, comments

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Italy v Liechtenstein - FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifier Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images

Chelsea may be confident in making progress in the Tiemoué Bakayoko and Alex Sandro pursuits this week — no such confidence on Lukaku unfortunately — but the squad needs reinforcing not just in midfield and left back and striker. Two other positions on the transfer slate are center back and attacking midfield, which is where familiar names Leonardo Bonucci and Riyad Mahrez come in.

According to the Evening Standard, Antonio Conte remains keen on the pair even though Bonucci is now over 30 and thus a problematic £60m solution given Chelsea’s over-30 one-year contracts only policy (not to mention Bonucci once again denying any such rumors), while there’s been very little action around Riyad Mahrez even though he submitted a transfer request to Leicester City three weeks ago.

But with Chelsea out of the chase for Southampton's Virgil van Dijk and supposed Conte first-choice Dries Mertens (huh?) recently signing a new contract at Napoli, the two old names can be new again and jump to the front of the rumor queue. Rescued from limbo once again!

Although headlines have been dominated by the Chelsea vs. Conte supposed “conflict”, behind the scenes the club seems to be working hard to secure a few new signings. While not one of them may be announced until July — starting with new backup goalkeeper Willy Caballero — hopefully the wait will be worth it.