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Chelsea could reportedly make moves for Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez and Juventus left-back Alex Sandro in a bid to convince manager Antonio Conte to resist a return to Italy.
Conte is being linked with Serie A side AC Milan, but Chelsea hope a £60 million offer for Sandro, along with moving for Sanchez in January, will convince the 48-year-old of the club’s ambition, per Darren Lewis of the Mirror.
Lewis noted how Chelsea, who won the Premier League title in Conte’s first year at the helm last season, “have no intention of losing their Italian manager without a fight next summer, despite reports in Italy suggesting he could move on to AC Milan.”
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However, Conte could take the decision out of the Blues’ hands after resisting the chance to extend his three-year contract this summer, per the report. As Lewis pointed out, Conte is “understood to have been frustrated at missing out on some of his experienced targets during the summer transfer window.”
One of the transfers Conte and the club fruitlessly pursued during the summer window was a deal for Sandro. Unfortunately, Juve knocked back bids of £55.2 million and £73.2 million.
Instead, Chelsea have entered the new campaign with no credible option in support of Marcos Alonso, who thrived at left wing-back in Conte’s 3-4-2-1 formation last season.
There is a similar shortage of choices in attacking areas, a problem compounded by Alvaro Morata’s hamstring injury, per BBC Sport. Morata went down during Saturday’s 1-0 home defeat to title rivals Manchester City, and Conte didn’t have faith in backup striker Michy Batshuayi, according to Lewis.
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It’s why a move for Sanchez, who is out of contract with London rivals Arsenal next summer, would make sense. The dynamic and versatile forward can create and score goals both from the flanks and through the middle.
The Chile international has previously given Chelsea hope a transfer to west London could happen. Back in May, he told Chilean source Publimetro (h/t Jeremy Wilson of the Telegraph): “I am happy in London and hope to finish my contract there. I’d like to stay in the city but with a team that is winning things, that has a winning mentality.”
Sanchez is also unlikely to sign a new contract with the Gunners, despite an offer of £300,000 per week, plus image rights, per James Olley of the London Evening Standard. Olley noted how both City and Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint-Germain will show interest in Sanchez, who is able to talk to foreign clubs in January.
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Signing both Sandro and Sanchez would be a major statement of intent from Chelsea to Conte. Yet the fees Juve have already rejected for Sandro makes any deal for the Brazilian look unlikely, while the competition for Sanchez could be too intense for Chelsea, even though the Chilean is happy with life in London.