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Conte wants Van Dijk or Bonucci

Conte demands Chelsea execs to hire at least one of his defensive targets

June 23, 2017 By Oscar Rojas
The Italian boss needs to bolster Chelsea's squad ahead of their UEFA Champions League return, but it could prove to be a bit complicated.

Antonio Conte wants to lead Chelsea to a successful UEFA Champions League return, but he'll need to add talent to his squad in order to do so.

According to The Guardian, the Italian manager has asked his employers to sign one or two defensive players, which respond to the names of Leonardo Bonucci and Virgil Van Dijk. Despite the coach's desire, both signings could give way for controversy.

Bonucci's signing would be in breach of Chelsea's policy about signing players above the 30-year barrier. The Italian defender, who blossomed under Conte in both Juventus and the Italian National Team, demands a multi-year contract with a hefty raise, and even if the bianconeri are willing to part ways with the center back, his demands could not be met due to the Blues' policy of not handing a multi-year contract to a player over 30 years of age.

Bonucci has played seven seasons with the bianconeri, winning 12 domestic titles with the Old Lady.

The same report suggests that, if a deal for Bonucci can't take place, then Chelsea's execs should focus on Virgil Van Dijk, Southampton's 25-year old defender. Nevertheless, a massive roadblock has been put in place by the Saints' front office, as they've just named Mauricio Pellegrino as their boss, and he'll be reluctant to sell one of the club's most priced assets during his first week in charge. To make matters worse, Liverpool has been snubbed by Southampton regarding a possible transfer that involved the Dutch defender, which means Chelsea will have to fight to have the player around.

Chelsea's transfer business this summer will also have to solve Diego Costa's departure, with an eventual signing of Romelu Lukaku in the works.

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