Chelsea target and veteran Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini is set to sign a new contract with reigning Serie A champions Juventus

Chelsea’s hopes of signing Juventus centre-back Giorgio Chiellini in the summer may have taken a hit, as reports from ESPN claim that the Italian is on the verge of signing a new contract with his current club.

Chiellini, 33, is in the final year of his deal with the Old Lady and would become a free agent at the end of the season. And the current Premier League champions, Chelsea, were hoping to bring the seasoned campaigner to the Stamford Bridge on a Bosman transfer ahead of the next season.

The Blues’ manager Antonio Conte is keen on reinforcing his backline in the summer, with David Luiz likely to be sold and the likes of Antonio Rudiger and Gary Cahill not performing to the expected level. And having worked with Chiellini back during his days as the manager of Juventus and then the Italian national team, he was interested in joining forces with the 33-year old once again, at Chelsea.

However, that looks extremely unlikely to happen now, as Chiellini himself has gone on record, saying that negotiations are underway between him and Juventus, and a deal will be agreed upon in the near future.

“We’re going to renew my contract soon and there will be no surprises,” Chiellini told Sky Sport Italia, as quoted by ESPN. “We’re close, but right now the management are too busy with the transfer market — next month we’ll definitely get it done.”

The 33-year old defender has been with Juventus since 2005, when he joined the club from Fiorentina and has gone onto amass 457 appearances for the Bianconeri, scoring 34 goals and bagging 6 Serie A titles and 3 Coppa Italia trophies in the process. In the ongoing campaign, Chiellini has featured on 23 occasions across all competitions for Juve registering one assist.

Regarded as one of the finest centre-halves in the game currently, Chiellini would have been a good addition to the Chelsea backline, despite his age. However, it looks like Conte will have to turn his attention somewhere else in the summer.

Interestingly, Chelsea had made an attempt to sign Chiellini’s former Juventus teammate Leonardo Bonucci last summer, but were rebuffed by the Italian, who opted to move to AC Milan instead. And it looks very much like the Blues will be snubbed once again by another former ward of Conte.

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