Standoff Between Conte and Chelsea Hierarchy Over Transfer Targets
23nd June 2017. By Edward Stratmann.
After an absolutely brilliant title winning season with Chelsea, Antonio Conte’s shown his desperation to delve into the transfer market to improve his squad ahead of what looms as a hectic 2017/2018 campaign.
With the added pressure and challenges of the Champions League, the Italian, who’s on the verge of signing a contract extension worth £9.5 million a year that will make him the seventh highest paid manager in the world, is reportedly keen to get his deals over the line as soon as possible. Indeed, this is entirely understandable, for he wants all his new additions present for preseason so they can learn his tactically advanced methodology.
Having acquired no new players yet, Conte’s apparently voiced his dissatisfaction towards the Chelsea hierarchy in regards to their lack of progress on this front. The fact he wants an enhanced level of input into who the Blues should sign is apparently frustrating technical director and club director, Michael Emenalo and Marina Granovskaia, too.
Reports coming from Italy are even stating that Conte is weighing up his future over the stand off, which seems a touch excessive, but nonetheless gives an insight into the former Juventus and Italy tactician’s annoyance.
Good news could be on the way for the determined Conte, however, with plenty of exciting players linked with a move to Stamford Bridge. To start with, Juventus duo Alex Sandro and Leonardo Bonucci have been mentioned, but while they’d be sterling additions, they’ll be extremely challenging moves to get over the line.
More realistic options are represented with touted moves for Southampton star defender Virgil van Dijk and Monaco midfield enforcer, Tiemoue Bakayoko. Although a combined total of roughly £90 million would be required to be shelled out for those two, Chelsea unquestionably have the funds and it would certainly be money well spent.
There’s every reason to suggest former Chelsea striker, Romelu Lukaku, will be bought back too, while murmurings about the London outfit launching an audacious bid to sign Bayern Munich hitman Robert Lewandowski have intrigued the fans.
Other targets have arisen in the form of Leicester City’s wizard Riyad Mahrez and Arsenal’s Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, deals that would add plenty of pace, trickery and technical quality to their squad.
Despite all the speculation, many still insist that Conte actually gets along well with Emenalo and Granovskaia, plus Roman Abramovich, who’s the man that makes the final decision on transfers.
Whatever happens this summer, Conte will be anxiously awaiting for the club to secure some signings before preseason starts in July. With Chelsea expected to spend around £200 million in transfers this summer, Conte should have a terrific selection of players to mould and integrate into his squad. He’ll just be hoping they arrive sooner rather than later.
Even though there’s still work to do for Conte and co, positives can be drawn from the fact Eden Hazard looks set to sign a new contract, which should end Real Madrid’s pursuit of their prized asset. “I like this club because it’s a family,” Hazard recently said to the club’s website.
“I have a lot of friends and we all talk to each other. I’ve been here five years now and I’m so happy. I’m at one of the best clubs in the world, so I’m very happy to play for such a big club as this.”
“Hopefully next year it is the same, we win the league and then I win Player of the Year. Obviously winning the league is what we want most, and this award is just a bonus.”
Unlikely to be handed any additional say towards transfers, as former Chelsea managers such as Andre Villas-Boas and Jose Mourinho found out too, Conte will just have to place his faith in the powers that be at Chelsea to deliver him what they believe will benefit and improve the title winners.
Witnessing Manchester United and Manchester City already bringing in new players will only further disgruntle the fiery Italian, who’s never one to shy away from making his feelings felt.
When Chelsea return for preseason all will be known what position his squad are in. Let’s just hope Chelsea can get some deals over the line between now and then or the Chelsea hierarchy will be forced to face the wrath of Conte once more.
More by Edward at Licence to Roam