After two years of Antonio Conte, centre back would not be considered the area with the most need for reinforcements, but it seems that Chelsea don’t prescribe to that notion.
With the Daniele Rugani chase possibly drawing to a successful close soon, Chelsea have launched a concurrent bid for another Juventus defender, Mattia Caldara. As with the initial Rugani bids, Juventus rejected our opening offer of €30m.
Unlike Rugani, Caldara would not provide the added benefit of being already familiar with Sarri’s system, but, like Rugani, he is young and quite good recently made his international debut with Italy as well.
Caldara came up through his hometown club Atalanta’s youth system and left only last January for the big time. Or so it appeared before he was loaned back to the Bergamo-based outfit for the next season and a half, wherein he helped them finish 4th and 7th, their two highest finishes in Serie A ever.
As with Rugani, but even more so if Caldara is a target in addition to Rugani, the problem is that Chelsea already have two young and quite good centre backs in Antonio Rüdiger and Andreas Christensen. Chelsea also have strong veteran presence in David Luiz and Gary Cahill, and several others who should get a chance at a first-team spot but are already struggling to gain relevance — neither Kurt Zouma nor Matt Miazga were even included in the trip to Australia, for example.
While the two veterans should and will get phased out sooner or later and will thus need replacing, if Rugani comes, that already takes care of one. The rest of the available transfer funds are probably better spent elsewhere, either in replacing wantaway Willian or Courtois, or just giving it to Eden Hazard.