Having the Herculean task of defending the Premier League and playing Champions League football next season, Chelsea are set to undergo some major squad changes as Conte is keen to compete well on both fronts.
In order to do this, the Italian hopes to secure most of his desired summer transfer targets, and here is how the Blues’ starting XI could look if something close to that is achieved.
GK – Courtois
Real Madrid’s interest in the Belgian has died down, and rather than being faced with a potentially weakened goalkeeping department, the north London giants have only further strengthened their goalkeeping department with the addition of Willy Caballero.
LCB – Rudiger
The Roma centre-back is reportedly close to a Stamford Bridge switch, and having featured at the left of a 3-man defence for Germany at the Confederations Cup, he would be the perfect upgrade on Cahill in the role, his passing range and physicality in particular will have caught the eyes of Conte.
CB – David Luiz
Since returning to the club, the Brazilian has been able to prove himself all over again, helping to hold together a Chelsea defence that shipped just 33 goals last campaign.
He is set to continue in that role as the Blues return to Europe.
RCB – Azpilicueta
Regarded as perhaps the most underrated player of the past Premier League season, the Spain international is without a doubt set to retain his position in Conte’s starting XI having continually proven his worth over the past 5 seasons.
LWB – Alex Sandro
Conte has identified the Juve star as one of his top targets as he hopes to boost his defensive options ahead of the new season.
However, the deal is one of the hardest for Chelsea to seal as the Serie A giants aren’t too willing to let the Brazilian depart following his exploits last term.
Landing him will add a lot of steel to the team’s 3-4-3 formation.
CM – Bakayoko
One of the deals closest to being secured is that of the Monaco man, with many reports already confirming his status as a new addition to the Blues squad.
With Matic on his way to Old Trafford, the French defensive midfielder is a perfect like-for-like replacement.
He could face stiff competition for playing time from Fabregas though.
CM – Kante
Everyone’s Player of the Season will finally be playing Champions League football after postponing that chance with Leicester City last time, and many can’t wait to see how he fares on the biggest stage of club football.
RWB – Moses
Despite being linked with right wing-back targets, it isn’t looking likely that Chelsea will land any this summer with the club putting their attention towards strengthening other positions.
Hence, the Nigerian is favorite to retain his position as he would be expected to become better as he gets more acquainted to the role.
LF – Hazard
While the Real Madrid links haven’t subsided, the chances of the Belgian leaving for the Santiago Bernabeu are slim, as there are no known reasons for him to seek greener pastures at the moment.
CF – Belotti
It’s widely believed Costa’s days at Stamford Bridge are over, and while Lukaku has been linked with a return, Conte’s preferred choice is reportedly the Italy international striker.
Currently regarded as the most complete striker on the planet, the Torino hitman tops Conte’s wish list and could be lured to west London this summer, though there is stiff competition for his signature, believed to be coming from Manchester United.
RF – Pedro
Chelsea are interested in Sevilla’s Vitolo, but even if he arrives ahead of 2017-18, he’ll play second fiddle to the Pedro, who was in menacing form in the final third last term.
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