The Italian manager is keen to add more steel to the midfield as Chelsea look to build on their good start.
A change to a 3-4-3 system has yielded dazzling results for Chelsea, with the team racking up five league wins on the trot as well as conceding none since the tactical tweak by Antonio Conte. The switch has also brought out the best among many players, most notably Eden Hazard and Nemanja Matic.
Matic and summer signing N’Golo Kante have together formed a very solid partnership at the heart of midfield, and their partnership is one of the crucial factors behind Chelsea’s form.
However, the back-up options for the midfield pair is limited to say the least, with only an inexperienced 21-year-old Nathaniel Chalobah in the pecking order, as Cesc Fabregas is out-of-favour with the manager while John Obi Mikel has been frozen out. The future of both the players at the club is very uncertain.
While Chelsea’s lack of European commitments does help in terms of more resting period, an unfortunate injury to any one of the midfielders could potentially harm the club in their bid for the title. With a view to address this concern, Roman Abramovich has given the green-light to Antonio Conte to spend money in the upcoming winter transfer window, with the objective to strengthen the midfield high on the agenda.
As such, a host of midfielders have been linked with Chelsea, with a move for PSG’s Marco Verrati speculated most recently. Telegraph had previously suggested Conte’s preferred candidates are Roma’s Radja Nainggolan and Inter Milan’s Marcelo Brozovic.
And now, English newspaper Mirror has claimed Inter Milan’s Geoffrey Kondogbia and Sevilla’s Steven N’Zonzi are on Conte’s radar. Kondogbia’s €31 million transfer to Inter has not gone according to plan, and the young Frenchman is reportedly unhappy at his lack of game-time at the club. His agent hasn’t ruled out a move away from the club.
On the other hand, Steven N’Zonzi, since his transfer to Sevilla from Stoke, has emerged as one of the best midfielders in La Liga, attracting the interests of Spanish giants Barcelona.
It would be foolish of Chelsea to not bolster their midfield roster in the upcoming window, even more so after considering the squads Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool have at their disposal. Roman is said to be willing to back the club in January in a bid to bring home the Premier League title, but it remains to be seen whether Chelsea are prepared to pay big bucks to acquire Kondogbia or N’Zonzi, as a deal for either definitely won’t come cheap.