Alex Sandro is high on the list of players head coach Antonio Conte has recommended Chelsea sign this month as he tries to juggle the demands of playing in four competitions. Chelsea were encouraged by the fact he wants to leave Juventus and Conte’s former club have made it clear they will not stand in the Brazilian’s way if the right offer comes in.
But Juventus are still demanding around £60 million for Alex Sandro, which is more than Chelsea are prepared to spend on the 26-year-old.
Chelsea backed away from a deal for him in the summer after Juventus demanded almost £80 million and a similar scenario is unfolding this month. There could yet be a change of heart from the Premier League club if the valuation Juventus have placed on Sandro drops, but it appears Conte will be frustrated.
Conte has made it clear that he does not control Chelsea’s transfer strategy and last week told Italian reporters that he had become accustomed to working for clubs with “austerity programmes.”
Chelsea are still looking to strengthen their left side, as Conte wants to ease the burden on Marcos Alonso. Alonso’s form makes it hard for Chelsea to justify spending a club record-fee on another left-back, but they need competition in that position.
Chelsea are willing to loan out Newcastle target Kenedy this month, but want a replacement lined up who can fight for a place on the left with Alonso. With Alex Sandro currently too expensive, Porto’s Alex Telles is another player scouted by Chelsea while Fulham’s Ryan Sessegnon continues to attract clubs with his performances.
Having signed Ross Barkley for £15m last week, Chelsea are now turning their attention to strengthening other areas of the squad. Conte would also like to boost his striking options and give Alvaro Morata some help. Michy Batshuayi failed to take his chance in the FA Cup draw with Norwich City and the Belgian will most likely be allowed out on loan if Chelsea can find a front man. Chelsea have considered the likes of Christian Benteke and Andy Carroll to replace him on a short-term basis.
Conte is busy preparing for Wednesday night’s Carabao Cup semi-final first leg against Arsenal.
He is ready to try to inflict more misery on Arsène Wenger by naming a near-full strength team in a competition he has so far used for his fringe players and youngsters.
Morata, Alonso, Eden Hazard, N’Golo Kanté, César Azpilicueta, Andreas Christensen, Victor Moses and Thibaut Courtois missed the Norwich game, but could all return.