Chelsea boss willing to scrap loan deals to refresh midfield

Unconvinced by his central midfield options since moving into the Stamford Bridge hotseat, Antonio Conte could take drastic measures in a bid to rejuvenate Chelsea’s engine room.

Conte’s Blues are winless in three Premier League matches, suffering stinging defeats to top-four rivals Liverpool and Arsenal latterly and the middle of the park is an area of particular concern.

Other than summer signing N’Golo Kante from Leicester, who has performed admirably enough, internal inquests have begun over the likes of Nemanja Matic, Cesc Fabregas and Oscar which are steadily starting to mirror those of last autumn when the defence of their title went so pear shaped.

In his desperation to remedy the situation, The Sun newspaper suggests that Conte may look to one of Chelsea’s myriad loaned-out players for a solution in January.

Croatian midfielder Mario Pasalic was signed by the Londoners for £3m from Hadjuk Split two years ago, but is yet to kick a ball for Chelsea’s first team. That could all change as early as January according to the red top.

Pasalic enjoyed himself on loan at Monaco last season, scoring seven times in 28 appearances before AC Milan expressed an interest this summer.

Another season-long loan was agreed with the Serie A club, but since then the 21-year-old has not been granted anywhere near the same exposure as he enjoyed in France last term.

Serie A-savvy Conte is thought to be well aware of the situation and it’s being suggested Chelsea’s manager may well challenge Milan to give him back midway through the agreed loan period.

Chelsea’s next Premier League assignment sees them travel to Hull, where nothing less than three points will do for the faltering side.

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Christian Crowther

Give Christian a sport with anything remotely spherical in it and he’ll happily while away the hours watching it on the box. However, he’d much prefer writing about, playing or betting on golf, football, cricket, tennis, snooker.... you get the picture.