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Chelsea lead Manchester United, Liverpool in chase for Napoli full back — report

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Potential upgrade for Chelsea, but at a rather steep price...

AC Milan v SSC Napoli - Serie A Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

The links between Chelsea and Napoli’s Maurizio Sarri as the man to potentially follow Antonio Conte are not exactly ironclad, but they are the strongest of all the available options. So unsurprisingly, links between Chelsea and some of Napoli’s current players are not far behind.

One of the first along those lines is full back Elseid Hysaj, briefly linked last season, too, when Chelsea were linked with half the Serie A thanks to Conte. Now, according to Sportitalia (via the Daily Mail), Chelsea are leading the way in the chase, with Manchester United and Liverpool and undoubtedly many others, if Hysaj is available, behind. The price named is a cool €50m, which seems rather steep for a position well stocked with good-to-decent talent already at Chelsea.

The career of the 24-year-old right back has been intertwined with Sarri’s, having worked together since 2012 when they were with Empoli in Italy’s second division. He was one of two players, the other being Mirko Valdifiori, who moved to Napoli alongside Sarri when the manager switched allegiances in 2015.

Since then he has been one of the club’s key players, with 36-year-old club legend Christian Maggio as his back-up. Over the last three seasons with the Partenopei, Hysaj has 131 appearances along with 37 caps for the Albanian national team since 2013.

Not just to continue to track record of Sarri and Hysaj moving together wherever the former may go, the defender would be a welcome addition to the club. Moses and Zappacosta may be a useful combination in theory (the former more of a runner, the latter more of a crosser), they have been highly inconsistent all season, and have often been a major letdown. While perhaps not a priority (thus the eyebrow raise at the potential price), upgrades are never not welcome. And Hysaj, who can also play on the left flank, would certainly be an upgrade.