Anxious search for a centre-back leads Chelsea to West Ham

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There are some fascinating shards of speculation swirling around on a frenetic summer Deadline Day and one of the latest will raise eyebrows on both sides of London.

Chelsea and West Ham have never been best of friends, and that fractious relationship could be tested further if the former manages to carry out a last-gasp raid on their cross-capital rivals.

According to the Guardian newspaper’s live transfer feed, there are whispers emanating from down the Kings Road that Chelsea are interested in signing Hammers centre-half Angelo Ogbonna.

Of course, the former Juventus defender is no stranger to new Blues boss Antonio Conte, who has consistently been linked to signing compatriots or even Serie A-based players over the summer.

Ogbonna also earned several Azzurri caps under Conte’s stewardship between 2011 and 2014.

Despite the levels of speculation regarding players such as Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly and Leonardo Bonnuci, only Leicester’s N’Golo Kante and Marseille hotshot Michy Batshuayi have arrived in west London ahead of Deadline Day.

Ogbonna is highly thought of at the London Stadium, meaning this would be an audacious swoop by Conte and an unwelcomed one from Slaven Bilic’s perspective with only Winston Reid and James Collins as other senior options, after James Tomkins was allowed to join Crystal Palace this summer.

If this rumoured interest proves fruitless, another option for Chelsea could be Tunisian international Aymen Abdennour.

The 27-year-old could be permitted to leave Valencia on loan now Manchester City’s Eliquiam Mangala has arrived at the Mestalla.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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