Antonio Conte is looking to add an able understudy to full-back Cesar Azipilicueta and is reportedly keen on signing Ben Davies from Tottenham Hotspur.
According to the Sun, Antonio Conte is plotting a shock £20 million raid for Spurs defender Ben Davies. Known to prefer fielding three at the back, Conte is hopeful that the Welsh defender can play as a left-sided centre-back for Chelsea.
Ben Davies, 23, burst into the spotlight during his Swansea City days. His then manager Brendan Rodgers promoted him from the youth ranks and he turned out to be a huge revelation in Swansea’s first season in the Premier League.
Rodgers then opted to take the Liverpool job and Davies followed him through the exit door at the Liberty Stadium two seasons later. The Welsh full-back moved to Tottenham Hotspur but has failed to nail down a starting spot in Mauricio Pochettino’s side.
If Chelsea come calling for him, Davies may prefer to take the step up and move to Stamford Bridge. It will also be a good piece of business by the Tottenham boss who will receive a reported £20 million for letting go of his second-choice left-back, making a profit of £10 million on his sale.
In the recently concluded European Championships, Davies was used a left wing-back by manager Chris Coleman and performed exceedingly well. He can also be a decent ball playing defender in the back three, giving Conte a number of options to use the Welsh defender.
Also with Bransilav Ivanovic and John Terry on the wrong side of 30, the time is now for the Chelsea board to build for the future. Davies may not have been overly impressive at White Hart Lane, but he could strive under a new leadership and different philosophy.
In case Conte fails to land Davies, Middlesbrough’s Ben Gibson and Burnley’s Michael Keane are on his radar to keep a homegrown influence at the back. The Premier League rules state that a club must have eight homegrown players in their 25-man squad.