Incoming Chelsea boss Antonio Conte is the current Italy national team boss, so it is logical that he would be targeting Serie A stars as he looks to rebuild a Chelsea squad that is capable of challenging for the top honors next season.
According to Goal, Chelsea are working on signing Napoli striker Gonzalo Higuain and Roma midfielder Radja Nainggolan for a combined £80 million.
Higuain had a record breaking year for Napoli this season and his arrival could mean the return of Diego Costa to Atletico Madrid. Higuain says he will only consider a move to Chelsea should first-team football be guaranteed and I cannot see Conte going to a 4-4-2 formation and playing Higuain alongside Costa.
Higuain would cost around £50million. The other part of this double signing is Roma’s Radja Nainggolan, whom Chelsea hold a long-term interest in.
Chelsea have already had a bid rejected for Nainggolan, but Roma need to sell before they can but this summer:
“A player could be sold to bring in fresh funds and sign different figures” said a Roma spokesman.
“But it would in any case be a choice. We will make choices within the club with the perspective of coach and players to see how we can reinforce and improve Roma.”
Nainggolan who is valued at around £35 million would provide Roma with the transfer kitty they want. Nainggolan is a all-action midfielder who performs best in a box-to-box role and likes to work further up the pitch than Nemanja Matic. He is less technically polished than Cesc Fabregas and more energetic than Jon Obi Mikel.
Chelsea have also been linked with Juventus’s 32-year-old defender Stephan Lichtsteiner, who is available for around £8.3 million.
There is no doubt that Higuain, Nainggolan and Lichtsteiner are top quality players. I would just question the wisdom of spending £90 million of three players, none of which is under 28. Chelsea’s transfer policy has been to buy younger players who have yet to reach their full potential, and who will still have resell value if Chelsea decide to sell them. That is not the case with these three and makes you wonder if Chelsea is changing its transfer policy?