Chelsea had a bid knocked back for Inter Milan winger Antonio Candreva on deadline day, according to reports.
According to Gazzetta Dello Sport, Chelsea made a €30m for Candreva on deadline day but the offer was immediately rejected by the Inter Milan hierarchy. With new majority owners Suning looking to take the club back to it’s former greatness, Inter are reportedly unwilling to sell any key players.
Candreva only signed for Inter from Lazio at the beginning of this season in a reported €22m deal and Gazzetta claim that Antonio Conte also tried signing the Italian international over the summer but was beaten to it by the Nerazzurri.
Candreva has been ever present in Inter’s first team having played 28 matches across all competitions with a return of 5 goals and 6 assists. A creative player, Candreva has also been registering an average of 1.77 key passes, 2.05 chances created and an 80% pass completion rate in the Serie A this season, according to Squawka.
Antonio Conte was in the market to boost his side’s attacking options as he was linked with a host of players. But, with Candreva being a long-term favourite of Conte according to Gazzetta, it appears that he was top on the manager’s list.
Gazzetta further state that Chelsea had been in touch regarding a deal over the last few days and although, they found Inter unwilling to sell the player, the Blues were hoping that a ‘final assault’ would tempt the Italians to sell.
However, Chelsea failed to convince them and despite being linked with a number of other targets including Celtic’s Craig Gordon and Moussa Dembele, the unattached Kyle Jameson was the only player who joined the club in the January transfer window.
Begovic had publicly stated his desire to leave but Antonio Conte insisted that, while he understood the goalkeeper’s desire, he would only sanction a sale if Chelsea managed to find a suitable replacement, which they did not after Celtic opted not to sell Craig Gordon.
Dembele, meanwhile, was always going to be a difficult target to land given his importance to Celtic this season. However, there could well be a battle between several top clubs come the end of the season if he continues his form and Chelsea are more or less certain to be among the interested parties.
It seems slightly unlikely that Chelsea will renew their interest in Candreva again this summer, however. The Italian international will be 30 this month and it seems more likely that Conte will go in for a player that represents a more long-term option.