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5 Transfer Targets for Antonio Conte

Big managerial changes have stolen all the headlines in the Premier League this summer, with Antonio Conte taking the Chelsea hotseat following an impressive campaign with Italy at Euro 2016.

The former Juventus head coach joins Pep Guardiola in being the new big-name arrivals in England, with Conte likely to make big changes at Stamford Bridge in order to turn their fortunes around. Chelsea endured a rather disappointing season, with conflict on and off the field not only resulting in the acrimonious exit of Jose Mourinho, but also the team never came close to defending their Premier League crown.

Betway believe that Chelsea will fare much better in the upcoming 2016/2017 season by placing them amongst the strong title favourites in the latest football odds, but while Conte may face a fight to hold onto Nemanja Matic and Diego Costa, bringing top quality players into the club may enhance their chances of competing with the likes of Manchester City and Manchester United at the summit.

William Carvalho
Conte places great dependence on the two central midfielders ahead of a back three to provide a protective shield and dictate the play from a deep-lying position. It requires a player with considerable strength and energy to carry out the role, and although Chelsea have already acquired a top quality midfielder in N’Golo Kante from Leicester, targeting Euro 2016 winner William Carvalho is a shrewd move.

The 24-year-old has been highly-rated for a number of years, with the Sporting Lisbon star making a real name for himself by showing composure and maturity beyond his years to make a big impact for club and country. Impressive performances in France this summer have only served to increase the interest in acquiring his services, with Chelsea and Everton rumoured to be battling to sign the talented midfielder. With Matic’s future appearing uncertain, Carvalho would be more than an adequate replacement for the Serbian should he decide to leave Stamford Bridge.

Leonardo Bonucci
Juventus and Italy share one thing in common: they both have a defensive quartet that is incredibly difficult to break down and adhere to the basic art of defending. Leonardo Bonucci has developed into one of the best centre-backs in the world, with the 29-year-old going from strength to strength with the Serie A. The commanding defender enjoyed a fine Euro 2016 campaign with Italy through a number of outstanding performances as the Azzuri exceeded all expectations by reaching the Quarter Finals where they were beaten on penalties by Germany.

Conte would undoubtedly relish a reunion with a player he worked with during his time in charge of Juventus, but with both Manchester clubs also showing interest, it will take a considerable bid in order to convince the Serie A champions to sell one of their defensive rocks.

Chelsea have already had a bid rejected for the centre-back this summer, but if Conte was able to bring Bonucci to Stamford Bridge, it would be a good time to look at these pre-season odds on Betway’s website before they improve. Adding players of Bonucci’s quality to the squad would certainly make Chelsea a team to keep an eye on, with the Italian appearing the perfect fit alongside John Terry and Gary Cahill in a back three.

Edinson Cavani
One player who could be involved in a big-money move this summer is Edinson Cavani, with the striker failing to hit the same heights as in previous years since arriving at Paris Saint-Germain in 2013. The 29-year-old Uruguayan star may have the chance to prove himself as the Ligue 1 champions’ number one striker following Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s departure to Manchester United, but it has not stopped a number of clubs from showing an interest in a player who enjoyed his best years at Napoli.

Chelsea could do much worse than bring the clinical striker to Stamford Bridge, particularly with Diego Costa’s future in doubt and a lack of options in that department after Alexandre Pato and Radamel Falcao failed to make any sort of impact during loan spells last season. 53 goals in 97 appearances in the French capital is a fantastic return for a player who has not always been a regular, but Paris Saint-Germain are likely to expect a huge transfer fee for Cavani before they are willing to enter negotiations with interested parties.

It remains to be seen whether Roman Abramovich is willing to pull out all the stops to sign a player who could cost well over £60 million, but Cavani would represent a fantastic signing that makes Chelsea even stronger in an area that needs to be improved on from last season.

Kalidou Koulibaly
It would come as no surprise if Conte focuses on strengthening Chelsea’s defence this summer, with the Italian manager building a reputation for establishing a backline that is resolute and difficult to break down. The club may be over-priced in their pursuit of Bonucci, but Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly represents an excellent alternative if Conte is unable to persuade Juventus to sell.

The Senegalese international is believed to be looking for a move away from Naples this summer, with the 25-year-old believing that his current employers have undervalued his presence in the team through their recent contract offer. Chelsea might still be required to fork out a substantial transfer fee to bring Koulibaly to Stamford Bridge, but acquiring a defender who possesses great strength, speed and an excellent reading of the game would make the Blues even stronger.

Antonio Candreva
Chelsea fans must have been impressed by what they saw from Conte and Italy this summer, with a number of Azzuri players likely to be welcomed through the doors at Stamford Bridge if they show the same application and quality under their former manager.

Antonio Candreva is certainly amongst those who would make a big impact at Chelsea, with the 29-year-old winger showing great industry and work-rate to make an impact at both ends of the pitch. He would undoubtedly fit into Conte’s system at Chelsea, with his defensive qualities making him a more ideal alternative to Oscar and Willian who do not provide the full-backs with the best level of protection.