Chelsea are reportedly preparing a double swoop on AS Monaco to bring Bernardo Silva and Benjamin Mendy to Stamford Bridge in the summer.
According to a report by Daily Mirror, Chelsea are plotting a double raid on AS Monaco to sign Bernardo Silva and Benjamin Mendy in the summer. The duo are also being monitored by several other clubs across Europe.
The Blues have enjoyed a sensational return to the summit of English football after the disastrous 2015/16 campaign when they finished 10th in the defence of their Premier League title.
The Premier League leaders currently sit 13 points clear of their nearest rivals, Tottenham Hotspur and they are the odd-on favourites to lift the title come May. And, while his success has been built on using a small group of players, Conte will need depth in his squad when Chelsea contest on four fronts next season.
As a result, it is believed that the Italian tactician has started identifying ideal targets to bolster his squad in the summer. And if the latest report is anything to go by, Conte has turned his attention towards another European club that is making a lot of waves across the continent.
Monaco are enjoying a stunning season, having risen to the top of Ligue 1 and reached the quarterfinals of the UEFA Champions League. It has been a campaign built on scoring a glut of goals, with a core group of youngsters, who have made a mark with their freshness and explosiveness.
Consequently, these players have become some of the most highly sought after prospects in Europe. Two players who have fallen on Chelsea’s radar are Bernardo Silva and Benjamin Mendy. The two youngsters caught Conte’s eye in Monaco’s win over Manchester City this week and moves are being lined up.
Indeed, attack and left side of defence are two areas in Conte’s squad that need more strengthening than any other. In attack, Conte has just Eden Hazard, Willian and Pedro for the two men flanking Diego Costa.
And while the Belgian forward is almost indispensable from the first team setup, Silva will provide healthy competition to keep Willian and Pedro on their toes.
Silva also brings the creative spark – in addition to the burst of pace that Conte banks on in his system – that Willian and Pedro both lack. That can be evidenced by the 10 assists he has provided so far, alongside nine goals in all competitions.
On paper, Hazard, Costa and Silva have the potential to create one of the most formidable front trios in the world. But, Chelsea could face some serious competition to land the 22-year-old, with Real Madrid also in the mix, and Manchester United reportedly having the first option to buy him.
Meanwhile, another 22-year-old from Monaco is also being targetted by Chelsea for a summer move. That man is French left-back Benjamin Mendy, who hasn’t quite been as eye-catching in the Monaco lineup as the likes of Silva, Falcao and Kylian Mbappe but has still been a dependable figure for Leonardo Jardim.
Signed by Monaco this past summer, Mendy has played 29 times in all competitions and despite being an understated presence in the first team setup, he has been a steady contributor in Monaco’s brilliant attacking output, providing 10 assists.
He is a player who Conte could do with in his squad. That is because the Chelsea boss currently has just Marcos Alonso as his option at left wing-back. The Spaniard has proved to be a huge talent with his immense work rate. But, playing 50 games a season can definitely take a toll.
That is where Mendy comes in, who brings similar work rate and attacking output as Alonso and can also become a long-term option for Conte. But like Silva, Chelsea are in for some competition for Silva as well with Manchester United, Manchester City and Arsenal monitoring his progress at Stade Louis II.
It goes without saying that the two 22-year-olds will be welcome additions to the Chelsea squad, should they be signed in the summer. And Conte will have to blow the competition away and shell out around £40 million to acquire them, with Silva costing £28m and Mendy around £12m.