With his focus still on securing Chelsea’s defence, Conte has reportedly moved over Caceres and hopes to rope in Thiago Maia in the January window.

The closing of the transfer window for this season has not deterred Antonio Conte from pursuing class defenders for Chelsea. Conte’s famous passion aside, this can be seen as an indication of their failure in procuring players to their satisfaction while the transfer window was still open.

Their strategy came under fire when they re-signed David Luiz on the last day, after a failed attempt to rope in Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly and AC Milan’s Alessio Romagnoli. In line with the pattern dominant during the entire transfer season, the transfer deadline day culminated with the number of Chelsea’s defenders increasing from 4 to 6.

Ecuador's Juan Paredes (L) vies for the ball against Martin Caceres (R) of Uruguay during the FIFA World Cup 2018 qualification match between Ecuador and Uruguay at Atahualpa stadium Quito, Ecuador, 12 November 2015. EPA/JOSE JACOME

Ecuador’s Juan Paredes (L) vies for the ball against Martin Caceres (R) of Uruguay during the FIFA World Cup 2018 qualification match between Ecuador and Uruguay at Atahualpa stadium Quito, Ecuador, 12 November 2015. EPA/JOSE JACOME

Recently, it had been reported in the Evening Standard that Conte was after free agent Martin Caceres, with whom he had worked at Juventus. However, journalist Fabrizio Romano, who works for Guardian among other news agencies, has revealed that Conte is not particularly invested in the move. This could be because of concerns about Caceres’ fitness, as he is currently nursing injuries.

However, this is not to suggest that Chelsea are content with the current team as reports have surfaced, including Romano’s follow-up tweet, that they have set their eyes on the 19-year-old Santos player Thiago Maia who had expressed his desire to enter the European scene but had later decided to stay at Santos until the end of the season.

Romano claims that Chelsea will be looking to make a deal with the Brazilian midfielder in January. If it comes to pass, it will be another feather in Conte’s now famous cap of class defenders. However, Conte and company will also be wary of the fact that the Blues will not be the only ones on the lookout for the Santos sensation.

 

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