Why Chelsea fans are right to be concerned over summer troubles
After cruising to last season’s Premier League, Chelsea were expected to splash the cash this summer in preparation for a title defence and a tilt at the Champions League.
But with just a month until the new campaign gets underway, nothing of the sort has happened.
Indeed the noises coming out of Stamford Bridge don’t paint a pretty picture at all.
Granted, they’ve signed centre-back Antonio Rudiger from Roma for £30m. But according to most reports over the past 12 months, boss Antonio Conte was really hoping for Leonardo Bonucci.
It now looks unlikely they’ll pursue the Juventus ace, and of course, the ship has also sailed on Romelu Lukaku.
The Belgian was Chelsea’s top summer target, yet joined Manchester United over the weekend.
This won’t have gone down well at all with Conte, who is currently still lumbered with Diego Costa.
The two fell out in January, and according to recent press, have endured another spat in the last few days.
The Spaniard looks certain to leave, but the longer he stays, the less time Chelsea have to bed in his replacement.
And talking of replacements, while it cannot now be Lukaku, it cannot be James Rodriguez either, who has joined Bayern Munich on a two-year loan.
Alvaro Morata remains an option, but talk over the Spaniard moving to West London has gone a little quiet.
Torino’s Andrea Belotti could yet salvage Chelsea’s summer, but will Conte risk it all on a man who has yet to prove himself at the very highest level? And at a rough cost of £90m?
The most likely arrival to fill Costa’s void is Fernando Llorente.
But whichever way you look at it, a 32-year-old who was at Swansea City last season isn’t the headline signing Chelsea would have been hoping for.
They face other problems too. The Blues have been chasing Monaco’s Tiemoue Bakayoko, but over the weekend it emerged that Man United might yet beat them there too.
And to compound Chelsea’s woes, they’ll be without Eden Hazard for the start of the season, while the Belgian recovers from a broken ankle.
So all in all, things really are quite grim at Stamford Bridge. They’re 10/3 second favourites to retain their title, but right now it’s hard to have any confidence in that.
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