By Abigail Withey
Chelsea boss Antonio Conte is planning a last minute mega-money spending spree on five new players in order to retain the club’s Premier League title, according to a recent report.
The Sunday Express has revealed that the Stamford Bridge manager is keen to add five players to his squad before the transfer window closes at the end of August.
The newspaper claims on their website that Conte has his sights firmly on Southampton’s defensive trio Virgil van Dijk, Ryan Bertrand, and Cedric Soares.
It is understood that Chelsea are preparing to fork out close to £150 million for the Saints players but faces competition from Tottenham and Liverpool.
In addition to the defensive trio, the report states that Conte is preparing to submit a fresh bid for Leicester City’s Danny Drinkwater after their £20 million offer was rejected from the former Premier League champions.
Chelsea will now offer an improved amount of £25 million in order to bring the midfielder to Stamford Bridge.
It is also said that the Italian manager is still keen on signing Arsenal star Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain as Conte wants to increase the number of home grown players within his Chelsea squad.
Football Insider verdict
There’s being optimistic, and then there’s Antonio Conte. Spending £200+ million in a hurry within the closing weeks of the transfer window just looks unrealistic and Conte should focus on one or two players rather than trying to perform some kind of squad overhaul with deadline day in sight. All of the players the Chelsea boss is hoping to recruit are all pretty under the thumb by their current clubs with Southampon, Leicester and Arsenal all remaining reluctant to sell up this summer. Chelsea would be better with the aim to sign a really top quality defender rather than trying to buy Southampton’s defenders, as it’s utterly ridiculous that a club would sell a majority of their backline without someone already lined up.
In other Chelsea news, the club have been handed a huge boost as this vital duo are set to return to action.