Chelsea manager Antonio Conte is on the hunt for adept back-ups to his high flying Blues team, and the club have been linked to several players capable of playing at wing-back.
Victor Moses and Marcos Alonso are doing a brilliant job for Chelsea in the two wing-back positions, but the lack of adequate back-up for the duo is something that has been worrying Conte. One of the players that the club have reportedly been looking to sign in this regard is West Ham United’s Michail Antonio.
The Hammers have taken note of this interest however, and will offer Antonio a new five-and-a-half year deal with a substantial pay raise, according to the Guardian. The Englishman currently earns £35,000 per week in wages, which will rise to £70,000 if he signs the new contract.
Antonio has been in brilliant form for West Ham this season. He is their top scorer in the Premier League with eight goals and three assists, and his performances have even earned him a national call-up.
The London based outfit will be dreading the prospect of losing one of their key players, especially given the situation they find themselves in with French midfielder Dimitri Payet. It is expected that the new terms will convince the 26-year-old to remain at the Olympic Stadium.
Chelsea have reportedly been tracking Michail Antonio for the past couple of weeks, with the Englishman believed to be one of the top January transfer targets for Antonio Conte. This is undoubtedly what prompted West Ham to make a move to secure their star’s future.
The versatile and pacy 26-year-old would have been an interesting addition for Chelsea, and could have provided competition to Victor Moses for the right wing-back spot. However, it looks like the Blues will have to look elsewhere to find what they need.
The Blues have recently been linked with a move for Middlesbrough winger Adama Traore, while German full-back Jonas Hector is also reportedly a target for Antonio Conte. If Antonio does sign the new deal with West Ham as expected, then the Blues will have to shift their interest towards the other aforementioned options.