CHELSEA are closing in on a Premier League and FA Cup double, but that hasn’t stopped Antonio Conte from identifying their summer transfer targets.
The Blues will need to strengthen their squad ahead of next season given they will return to Champions League action – and they have also been fortunate with injuries this term.
Football Whispers, using their unique transfer algorithm, run the rule over the five players Chelsea have put at the top of their summer shopping list.
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Estimated value: £80m
Football Whispers Index: 3.5
THE hulking striker’s ability has never been doubted but it’s taken until this season for Lukaku to truly establish himself as one of European football’s top strikers.
Under the guidance of Ronald Koeman, the 23-year-old has become more clinical in front of goal.
The Belgian forward has scored 25 times in 35 matches and his shots to goals ratio of 27 per cent is the highest in his career.
While he is making fewer key passes per game this term – 1.3 compared to 1.4 last season – he has still assisted seven goals, indicating his decision making in the final third has improved.
Chelsea would have to spend big to bring Lukaku, who they sold to Everton in 2014, back to Stamford Bridge.
The Toffees would reportedly demand a world record for Lukaku but that is unlikely to put off the Blues from making an offer.
Virgil van Dijk
Estimated value: £50m
Football Whispers Index: 3.0
VAN DIJK has been injured since January but that hasn’t stopped a host of clubs around Europe from making the Southampton defender one of their first-choice transfer targets.
Chelsea are no different. With John Terry leaving the club this summer and Branislav Ivanovic departing in January, the Blues need defensive reinforcements.
Van Dijk has proven himself as one of the finest defenders in the Premier League this season.
He has averaged more interceptions and clearances per game – 2.6 and 6.8 respectively – than any player at Southampton or Chelsea.
The Dutch centre-back is also a leader on the pitch and has captained the Saints 13 times in all competitions under Claude Puel.
With Southampton reportedly willing to listen to offers of around £50million for the defender, the Blues are likely to push hard to land the Netherlands international.
Estimated value: £25m
Football Whispers Index: 1.9
THE Italian midfielder was one of Conte’s trusted lieutenants at Juventus and for Italy, so it’s little surprise the Chelsea boss would like a reunion at Stamford Bridge.
Marchisio missed the start of the season as he recovered from a cruciate ligament rupture and, as a result, has been in and out of the Juventus side.
The 31-year-old has started 19 games across all competitions since returning to action in October but hasn’t been able to reproduce the form that made him one of the most dependable midfielders in Serie A.
His key passes per game in the league has dropped from 1.1 to 0.9 – although he has been used in a deeper role – while his passes attempted per game has fallen from 63.5 last season to 49.1 this term.
However, he is a player Conte trusts and you’d back the Chelsea boss to get the best out of the Italian midfielder if he arrives at Stamford Bridge.
Club: Real Madrid
Estimated value: £65m
Football Whispers Index: 1.5
THE Spanish striker is Real Madrid’s second highest scorer this season yet hasn’t been able to establish himself in the starting XI ahead of Karim Benzema.
Morata has made only 12 starts in La Liga this term but has struck 13 goals.
He goals per minute ratio of 88.3 is the second highest in the division, only Leo Messi scores at a quicker rate than the 24-year-old.
Should Morata leave Real Madrid this summer in search of more game time, Stamford Bridge is understood to be his preferred destination as he played regularly under Conte while the Italian was in charge of Juventus.
Estimated value: £25m
Football Whispers Index: 1.3
GIVEN the sheer number of quality attacking players Monaco possess it’s easy to overlook what the defensive midfielder brings to the side.
But Bakayoko has been vital in helping the Monegasque side compete for the Ligue 1 title and, more impressively, reach the Champions League knockout stages.
Playing in a two-man midfield, as he would at Chelsea, alongside Fabinho, the French international has impressed.
He has averaged 5.1 interceptions per 90 minutes across all competitions this season and 5 tackles per game.
They are impressive numbers and there would be few midfields in Europe as destructive and hard-working as N’Golo Kante and Bakayoko, should he seal a move to West London that is.