Antonio Conte had a stellar first season in charge of Chelsea, winning the Premier League by seven points and accumulating 93 points, the second best points tally in Premier League history. The Blues also went close to securing the domestic double but with Chelsea battling on four fronts next season, they'll need to sign players this summer to bolster their squad. We take a look at their transfer targets.
Bringing in Juventus' Leonardo Bonucci would be a masterstroke if Chelsea can pull it off. The Italian international is widely considered as one of the best defenders in Europe and played an instrumental role as Juventus lifted the Serie A for the sixth consecutive year and progressed to the Champions League final only to be defeated by Real Madrid.
Antonio Conte, who has worked with Bonucci at Juventus and for the national side, is desperate to secure his services with Chelsea ready to offer the centre-back a four-year deal worth around £115,000 per week. The Blues are keen to bolster their defensive options as they plan to retain the Premier League title and their return to the Champions League.
Gary Cahill, Cesar Azpilicueta, and David Luiz were all superb last season but Bonucci is a significant upgrade on any of the three mentioned. Buying the Italian centre-back could, in turn, see Cesar Azpilicueta play as either left or right wing-back and play Cahill, Luiz, and Bonucci as the three centre-backs.
Leonardo Bonucci began studying English in 2016 and stated in April that a move to the Premier League "fascinates" him. Bonucci is regarded as one of the best ball-playing defenders in the world and does his defensive duties with ease, averaging 1.7 tackles per game, 1.8 interceptions per game and averaged 0.5 fouls per game in the Champions League, according to WhoScored.com.
Conte tried to sign the Italian defender from Juventus last summer but the Serie A champions were not keen on selling the centre-back. However, Juventus have been willing to let key players Arturo Vidal and Paul Pogba leave in the past two summers so there's a chance Chelsea could get their man.
Probable Transfer Fee: £40-45M
Roma midfielder Radja Nainggolan is high up on Antonio Conte's transfer priority list this summer as they look to add to their squad and bolster their options in midfield. Nainggolan was the target of a Chelsea bid last summer and it's being reported that the club will test Roma's resolve again this summer and prise him away from the Serie A club. The Belgium international recently spoke with Antonio Conte about a move to Stamford Bridge last summer and could be set to bid for the midfielder again this summer.
Yes. I talked to Conte. They were really interested and wanted me over there. That's all I can say.
According to La Gazzetta Dello Sport, Roma needs to balance the books with Atalanta midfielder Franck Kessie likely to arrive, so the club are willing to sell Radja Nainggolan for around £35 million. The Belgian international had a solid season for Roma as they finished runners-up to Juventus, netting 11 goals and added five assists in 37 Serie A games for the Giallorossi. Radja Nainggolan pairing up with N'Golo Kante in midfield would be up there as one of the best midfield duos in the Premier League. Both players are all-action midfielders, with Nainggolan averaging 1.8 tackles and 1 interception per game for Roma in Serie A.
It could be a busy summer for Chelsea, Conte is expected to have around £200m to invest in his squad this summer but may also need to sell a few players considering their lengthy transfer target list of Bonucci, Nainggolan, Bakayoko, and Lukaku.
Probable Transfer Fee: £35-40M
Another midfielder Chelsea are heavily linked with this summer is Monaco's Tiemoue Bakayoko. The Telegraph reported back in May that Chelsea will step up their efforts to sign the midfielder and is expected to cost more than £40 million.
Bakayoko had a stellar season for AS Monaco in defensive midfield as they lifted the Ligue 1 title while reaching the Champions League semi-finals only to be knocked out by Juventus. The 22-year-old is one of the most sought-after defensive midfielders in Europe as he performed at the highest level, averaging 2.9 tackles and 2.8 interceptions per game in the Champions League, picking up just three yellow cards in the process.
He was a rock in Monaco's midfield as they secured their first league title in 17 years as they finished eight points clear of PSG, securing 95 points in 38 games, conceding 31 goals. In an outstanding attacking side, Bakayoko was used as the midfield destroyer which is evident in averaging 2.2 tackles and 1.8 interceptions per game in Ligue 1.
The question for Chelsea is whether they can afford to bring in two central midfielders with the quality of Nainggolan and Bakayoko, and whether they need to. They already boast the talented trio of N'Golo Kante, Nemanja Matic and Cesc Fabregas, add Bakayoko and Nainggolan to the equation and Conte will have a superb midfield to choose from. However, Conte will almost certainly leave two of the five midfield options on the bench which could lead to squad disharmony. If Chelsea can add either Nainggolan or Bakayoko to the first team, they'll have strength in numbers.
Probable Transfer Fee: £40-45M
The third midfielder Chelsea are heavily linked with for a move this summer also plies their trade in Ligue 1: Lyon's Corentin Tolisso. Chelsea are favourites to sign the French midfielder from Lyon amid rumours they've submitted a €35m offer to sign the 22-year-old. Arsenal, Bayern Munich and Juventus are interested in the midfielder but Antonio Conte is reportedly keen on signing Tolisso should their bid for Bakayoko fail. His quotes about moving to the Premier League have put Chelsea and Arsenal on high alert.
I like the Premier League and I think I am well suited to it. It is the league that offers the most competition, it is the most open, the most hard-fought and the most spectacular.
The 22-year-old Lyon midfielder is a more creative option than Tiemoue Bakayoko but not quite at the level of output from Roma's Radja Nainggolan. Tolisso netted eight goals and added five assists in 31 Ligue 1 appearances for Lyon in 2016/17 as they finished outside of the top three and failed to qualify for the Champions League for the first time since 2014. It's reported that Tolisso wants to play at the highest level and Chelsea can offer that with the Champions League and Premier League, but if Bayern Munich and Juventus are in the frame for the French midfielder, Chelsea could have a battle on their hands.
Probable Transfer Fee: £30-35M
This could well be one of the transfer sagas of the summer if Chelsea plan on bringing Romelu Lukaku back to Stamford Bridge. It's been widely reported that Romelu Lukaku wants to leave Everton in search of trophies elsewhere as he confirmed on Tuesday that staying at Everton "is not an option" and is in talks with the Merseyside club about leaving.
Romelu Lukaku has been assertive in the fact that despite Mino Raiola having a good relationship with Manchester United, he is the player and he will take the decision about which club he wants to join.
I'm the player, I will take the decisions. The most important thing is: I want to win trophies. We are now talking to THE club. What I would like most is to play in the Champions League and try to win the Premier League once, or better: a few times.
Chelsea are confident they can agree a fee with Everton but do not want to pay Everton's asking price of £100 million, instead, they hope to spend at most £80 million on the striker; a huge increase considering Everton paid £28m for Lukaku in 2014. It will be money well spent on the Belgian international should they sign him, in his spells at West Brom and Everton, Lukaku has netted 85 Premier League goals in 176 appearances - a superb record at the age of 24, the best of his goalscoring is yet to come.
Chelsea are looking to pay Romelu Lukaku £150,000 a week if he makes the switch to west London. Lukaku rejected Everton's £140,000 per week contract in March because he wants to return to Chelsea as he feels he has something to prove at the club and he feels he can win trophies with Conte's side.
Should Roman Abramovich tie a deal for Romelu Lukaku and two other players of the five players mentioned in this article, they will be looking to spend over £200 million but they have money available from the Oscar transfer and if Diego Costa also moves to China. If Chelsea are to compete for the Premier League and Champions League and domestic honours, signing Lukaku, Bonucci and one of Nainggolan, Bakayoko or Tolisso will show they mean business.
Probable Transfer Fee: £75-85M
Note: Odds are subject to change