According to reports, incoming Chelsea boss Antonio Conte wants to bring Stephan Lichtsteiner to Stamford Bridge as his first signing and the Blues are also targeting Biaconeri midfielder Stefan Sturaro.
Juventus are close to securing one of signings of the season in the form of Dani Alves, and as his arrival edges closer by the day, it has been reported that Antonio Conte wants to finalise a deal for Juventus right-back Stephan Lichtsteiner sooner rather than later.
According to the The Sun, incoming boss Antonio Conte is ‘anxious’ to complete a deal for the Swiss hardman and make him his first signing at Stamford Bridge. Dani Alves’ impeding arrival casts a doubts over the future of Lichtsteiner after 5 years at the club and it is unlikely he will settle for a spot on the bench. The report states that Conte has offered him a 3-year contract in a bid to lure him to London which would be highly surprising, given Chelsea’s policy of offering players over the age of 30 only one year contracts.
Since moving to Juventus from Lazio in 2011, Lichtsteiner has gone on to become an integral part of 5 Serie A winning campaigns, 3 of which came under Antonio Conte. The duo went on to enjoy great success in Italy as they went on to assert complete domination over the Italian top flight. Lichtsteiner has reportedly asked for some time to think about the offer, as he is now focusing on Switzerland’s European Championship campaign.
The 32-year-old’s robust and tough tackling style of play would be perfectly suited to the English game. His famed physicality, stamina and fantastic work ethic would help him gel into the Premier League immediately. The fact that he would be familiar with Conte’s tactics and methods of work would also aid in the transition and help him hit the ground running. A natural leader and a vocal figure on the pitch, he would also bring some of that winning mentality back to a Chelsea side which is in dire need of some confidence.
Sights set on Sturaro
After Lichtsteiner, Asamoah, Morata and Bonnuci before him, Chelsea have now been linked with Juventus’ Stefano Sturaro as they try to fix their ailing midfield. Chelsea’s attempts to bring Roma’s Radja Nainggolan to the Bridge seem to have hit an impasse, and now the Blues have reportedly shifted their sights to 23-year-old Stefano Sturaro.
The Sanremo-born midfielder is currently training with Antonio Conte’s Italian national team squad as they look to start their European Championship campaign against Belgium on a positive note. Conte will likely be monitoring his situation and a good performance may even lead to Chelsea bidding for young Stefan.
He started off his career in Genoa and after a series of impressive performances, Juventus quickly snapped him up in the summer of 2014. He was immediately loaned back, but was recalled in February that very season. He has since helped his side to 2 Serie A titles, 2 Coppa Italias and 1 Supercopa Italiana and has matured into a fine young midfielder in the process.
He’s a energetic, box-to-box player who can also be deployed as a defensive midfielder or a central midfielder. His ability as a ball winner, his quick pace and dribbling ability help him transition from defence to attack in no time and his playing style has drawn comparisons to AC Milan legend Gennaro Gattusso and former Juventus hero Arturo Vidal. His style of play is clearly suited to the pace of the Premier League and his work ethic and stamina are likely to be the factors that have caught Chelsea’s interest as they look to add some spark to their midfield.
Regarded as one of the most talented young midfielders in the world, he is still young and has a long way to go. But under Conte’s tutelage in the most competitive league in the world, he can only speed up his growth process and there is no reason why he can’t emulate the same kind of success that Vidal enjoyed under Conte and Chelsea fans will certainly hope that they enjoy the fruits of that success.