Chelsea have started the season positively with two wins from their first two games in the Premier League. However, their failure to keep a clean sheet in either game has only hastened Antonio Conte’s search for defensive additions to the squad.
The Blues are still heavily reliant on their 35-year-old captain and defensive mainstay John Terry. Gary Cahill has been pairing up with him in the centre of defence so far, with Frenchman Kurt Zouma still recovering from a serious knee injury. With just five defenders available for selection, manager Antonio Conte is looking to bolster his defensive options this summer.
Chelsea’s primary transfer target has been Napoli centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly, but the Serie A club do not want to lose one of their best defenders. I Partenopei have rejected a massive bid by the Premier League giants for Koulibaly and negotiations appear to have come to an end.
The Blues have now turned their attentions to another Serie A defender in AC Milan centre-back Alessio Romagnoli. According to the Guardian, the Blues will submit a €35 million (£30 million) bid for Romagnoli on Wednesday. The report adds that Chelsea will offer much improved wages amounting to an estimated €3.5 million a year — a €1.5 million increase on his current earnings at Milan.
Alessio Romagnoli is one of the most highly rated young defenders in Italy. The 21-year-old joined Milan only last summer, signing from AS Roma for €25 million on a five-year contract. He went on to become a defensive mainstay for the Rossoneri, starting 33 games in the Serie A and making 40 appearances for the club in all competitions.
Romagnoli made 1.3 successful tackles, 2.5 interceptions and 5.4 clearances per game last season (via WhoScored). The young Italian has impressive stats for his age and has all the potential to improve, especially under the training of former national team manager Antonio Conte.
There are some major doubts over whether Milan will accept this offer though. They would be unwilling to let go of one of their most highly rated players. More saliently, the transfer window is closing next week and it would be difficult for the Serie A club to find a replacement for their star defender in the coming days.