Antonio Conte will be keen for the January transfer window to open as soon as possible so he can strengthen his Chelsea squad after a mixed start to the 2016/17 Premier League campaign.
The Blues return after the international break to take on Premier League champions Leicester at Stamford Bridge. Conte’s side are already five points behind leaders Manchester City in the standings so can’t afford too many more slip ups. They are now as big as 18-1 in the football betting for the Premier League title this season.
With the transfer window set to open in January, Conte will already be making plans in regards to for the players he wants to bring into West London. Here are some of the potential ins and outs at Chelsea in January:
Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus)
Conte knows all about Leonardo Bonucci from his time as manager of Italy. The Juventus defender is regarded as one of the best centre-backs anywhere in the world and could cost up to £60 million if the Italian champions agree to cash in on their player.
Bonucci joined Juventus in 2010 from Bari and since then has won Serie A five times, including their triumph last season, as his partnership with Giorgio Chiellini and Andrea Barzagli has helped Juve to become one of the most formidable sides across Europe.
With Chelsea struggling to keep a clean sheet this season, Conte would see Bonucci as the perfect fix to their shaky back four.
Felipe Anderson (Lazio)
Brazilian international Felipe Anderson is one of the most highly regarded players in Serie A. He joined Lazio from Santos in 2013 and has since grown into one of the stars of Italian football.
Anderson was linked with a move away from Rome in September but Lazio managed to retain his services. A bidding war is likely to occur in January and Conte will be hoping his club win the race for the player’s signature.
In order to fund bids for Bonucci and Anderson, Conte may have to cash in on Hazard. The Belgium international was very disappointing last season and it was thought that he would leave Stamford Bridge in the summer, however, a move never materialised.
There have been glimpses of a return to form in this campaign and If Conte does decide to sell Hazard in January, there won’t be any shortage of interest. PSG are likely to be the most interested party and could be prepared to pay over £50 million for his services.
Cesc Fabregas is no longer a first team regular in the Chelsea side therefore he may have to leave the Blues if he is unhappy with the role he has under Conte.The Spaniard was one of the big disappointments last season as Chelsea made a poor attempt at defending their title.
Fabregas may decide a move back to Spain is the best option at this stage of his career and Conte would not stand in his way.