Whether or not Chelsea see sense and reward John Terry with an extension to his dwindling contract, ultimately his Stamford Bridge days are numbered and that means refreshing centre-half stocks is essential.
To that end and with rumours of Italian national coach Antonio Conte being brought in to replace interim manager Guus Hiddink this summer, it’s no surprise to see a Serie A star entering the frame to fill Terry’s boots.
At just 21 years old Alessio Romagnoli has already featured for three of Italy’s biggest clubs, starting off at Roma before an eye-catching loan to Sampdoria last season prompted AC Milan to cough up a whopping £19m to sign him last August.
Since then Romagnoli has established himself as a fixture in the Rossoneri’s rearguard, despite being part of an oversubscribed squad at the San Siro, rammed full of internationals.
Having invested so much in the Italian youth international, it might seem a little speculative from a Chelsea perspective to say the least, but history dictates that Roman Abramovich’s purse strings are among the most elastic in the business.
A graceful, ball-playing centre-half by reputation, Romagnoli is also left-sided which brings added attraction as Terry has made the left of Chelsea’s central pairing his own.
The youngster has also filled in at left-back several times for Milan which is another area of the Blues squad which hasn’t always been at full-strength over the past few campaigns.
Conte, who is thought to be in ‘positive talks’ over his earmarked move to Chelsea after the Euros, has not yet called Romagnoli up to the full Azzurri squad.
The Blues will hope it stays that way if they are serious about poaching the 6ft 2″ centre-half, who will surely become a full international before to long.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.