Premier League holders Chelsea are reportedly making progress towards the signing of Inter Milan ace Antonio Candreva. The 30-year-old has emerged as one among the top targets for Antonio Conte as he looks to strengthen his squad prior to next week’s transfer deadline.
Conte is said to be eyeing at least four signings this month following an average start to the season which includes an opening day loss to Burnley. According to Goal.com, the 47-year-old is keen on a reunion with Candreva after having previously worked together with Italy.
Candreva, 30, is a natural winger by trade, but Conte sees him as more a right wing-back who could offer potential competition to Victor Moses. The Nigeria international has fared well in the position over the past year, but Conte is aware of the need for quality backup if the club are to make progress across all competitions.
Cesar Azpilcueta is a good alternative in Moses’ absence but the Spaniard has settled well in the back three where he looks more at home. As a result, the former Juventus coach is desperate to seal a deal for Candreva, although the Blues may have to adjust their policy on players aged over 30.
The Blues have stood by their condition of not offering more than a year’s contract to players above 30, but they may have to break the rule similarly as they did during Yossi Benayoun’s transfer from Liverpool on a three-year deal in 2010.
Apart from Candreva, the Blues are also looking into deals for English trio Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ross Barkley, and Danny Drinkwater – all of whom are still far from their grasp. Conte is said to have had strong words with the Blues’ hierarchy over the limited transfer activity this month, and there is expected to some movement inwards before the transfer window closes on August 31.