Chelsea are reportedly exploring the prospect of a potential summer move to bring Southampton defender Ryan Bertrand back to Stamford Bridge

According to an exclusive from Daily Mail, Ryan Bertrand may be set to return to Chelsea in a shock summer move. Antonio Conte is looking to strengthen his wing-back positions and is reportedly looking towards the Southampton defender as a player who could add to the quality of the first-team setup at Stamford Bridge.

Ryan Bertrand was allowed to leave by Chelsea in a £10 million move to Southampton in February 2015 – in the middle of his season-long loan at St. Mary’s. And the player has since blossomed into a quality left-back, being not only a regular part of the setup at Southampton, but also a regular part of the senior Three Lions squad as well.

This season, he has amassed 23 Premier League appearances with a return of 2 goals and 5 assists – numbers which highlight his ability to provide for his teammates on the field. Bertrand has managed to establish himself comfortably as one of the best Premier League full-backs at the present moment.

Chelsea have just Marcos Alonso available in the left wing-back position and Bertrand could offer not just depth, but some quality competition to the Spanish. However, Ryan Bertrand signed a new five-year deal in the summer of 2016, meaning he has close to four years left on his deal with the Saints.

Southampton could ask for a sizeable fee – a grand premium compared to the fee Chelsea received for Bertrand in the first place. Also, money might not be the only issue in this potential transfer. Ryan Bertrand, at 27, would love the prospect of first-team football more than a return to Chelsea.

And the move has little chance of happening unless the Blues can promise him regular first-team football. Add to it the fact that Liverpool are also looking at the player, and since they can offer Bertrand a more prominent role in the first-team setup, and the move does seem far from an easy deal for Chelsea.

However, if Chelsea can somehow convince Bertrand of the project under Antonio Conte and if Southampton are able to secure a replacement, the English international’s return could aid the Blues in their bid to compete on all fronts – domestic and European – next season.

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