AC Milan have confirmed on their official TV channel that they have rejected a bid “in excess of €25 million” for defender Alessio Romagnoli from Chelsea.
Reports in Italy on Monday claimed that Chelsea had turned their attentions to Romagnoli, having been frustrated by Napoli’s stance on their lengthy pursuit of Kalidou Koulibaly.
Milan subsequently confirmed that they have rebuffed an approach from Chelsea for the 21-year-old, who moved to San Siro in a €25m deal from Roma last summer, while La Gazzetta dello Sport reports that CEO Adriano Galliani informed the Blues that Romagnoli is “unsellable.”
Speaking after Saturday’s victory over Watford at Vicarage Road, Blues boss Antonio Conte stressed Chelsea’s need for defensive reinforcements before the end of August.
“If you look now at our squad, we have only five defenders — four that started today and an academy player, [Ola] Aina,” Conte said.
“If one defender is injured or banned, then we are in trouble, but the club and I know this and we are talking every day to improve the squad.
“We know that this market is very difficult. It’s crazy. I don’t want to buy only to buy. I want to buy the right profile for Chelsea, the right investment for the solution and for the future.”
It is unclear as yet whether Chelsea will increase their offer, reported to be £30m, but Conte’s options for a high-profile central defensive recruit appear to be shrinking amid reports that Koulibaly is close signing a two-year contract extension with Napoli. Another option could be Torino’s Nikola Maksimovic remains on their list of targets too.
While Arsenal are getting a lot of media attention over their lack of transfer market activity, I am amazed that more attention is not focused on what Chelsea have not done. They have not supported Conte at all, brining in in just Michy Batshuayi and N’Golo Kante this summer. Keep in mind that this is a team that finished 10th in the league last season and half of their central defence (John Terry and Branislav Ivanović) are 32 or older.