Chelsea linked with three big-name stars, but only need one

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Antonio Conte has found adding new faces to the Chelsea squad he inherited over the summer quite tough.

Both before and after the Italian’s second top-flight tussle against Watford hints were made that he’d quite like to make some additions.

However, what Conte calls a “crazy” transfer market in terms of asking prices has made finding the right man difficuly.

Nevertheless, the morning gossip columns have been rife with rumours linking stars based around Europe to Stamford Bridge. But judging by the manager’s recent comments, he’ll only likely want one of them.

The most headline-grabbing of the three links is a £60m move for Real Madrid man James Rodriguez.

The Colombian has found life under Zinedine Zidane a little stifling, according to the Sunday Express, and could switch to west London to find a new lease of life.

Staying in the attacking third, the Mirror insist that Conte wants to bring Croatian striker Mario Mandzukic to Chelsea.

The former Bayern Munich star currently plays for Conte’s former club Juventus and would apparently be the Italian’s next choice of front man after supposedly missing out on Romelu Lukaku.

However, the only real rumour that appears to have any merit comes from the Sun on Sunday, which suggests Giorgio Chiellini is a Chelsea target.

The 32-year-old played in Conte’s defence for Italy at Euro 2016 and would plug a hole at the back for Chelsea, who only have five options for their entire backline.

Speaking after coming from behind to beat Watford, Conte said:

“If you look now at our squad, we have only five defenders – four that started today and an academy player Ola Aina.

“If one defender is injured or banned, then we are in trouble, but the club and me we know this and we are talking every day to improve the squad.”

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

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.