Chelsea EXCLUSIVE: Antonio Conte planning £200m spree for FIVE new signings



Posted Sunday, August 20, 2017 by Express.co.uk

Chelsea EXCLUSIVE: Antonio Conte planning £200m spree for FIVE new signings
Antonio Conte wants to bring in five new players before the window shuts

ANTONIO CONTE is planning a last minute spending spree which could cost him as much as £200 million before the transfer window closes next week.

Conte has got his sights on five new signings as he looks to mount a successful defence of the Premier League crown they won in his first season in charge.

The fiery Italian takes his side to Wembley today to face Spurs after they lost their opening game against Burnley at Stamford Bridge last weekend.

Conte has got his sights on the Southampton defensive trio Virgil van Dijk, Cedric Soares and Ryan Bertrand - who started his career at Stamford Bridge.

The trio could cost as much as £150 million but face competition from Liverpool for van Dijk and Bertrand while Soares is believed to also interest Spurs.

Saints have maintained that none of them are for sale but that is unlikely to put off Conte who wants to mount a challenge for the Champions League.

Chelsea are also preparing to increase their offer for Leicester midfielder Danny Drinkwater to £25 million after their first bid of £20 million was rejected.

The Foxes are believed to want around £30 million for the 27 year-old but The Blues are trying to reach a compromise.

England international Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is still a target as he enters into the final year of his Arsenal contract.

Conte knows that he needs to increase the number of home grown players in his first team squad which is why he wont let Arsenal's reluctance to sell put him off.

Meanwhile, want away striker Diego Costa has opened the door for a loan move away from Chelsea until Christmas claiming that he needs to play.

AC Milan are interested in signing the Spaniard until he can complete a move to Atletico Madrid in the New Year when a transfer ban ends.

While Spanish clubs Deportivo La Coruna and Real Betis are also interested in taking him on loan before the transfer window closes

Costa is still in Brazil after failing to report back for pre training with Chelsea after Antonio Conte told him that he didn't feature in his plans.

The 28 year-old has been engaged in a war of words with his employers who fined him around £300,000 during his stand off.

That is likely to be increased even further if he continues to refuse to return to this country so his fitness can be assed.

Costa has revealed that he has started training again on his own but has said that  he isn't planning to return to somewhere he isn't wanted

"We're still negotiating, they have to decide what's going to happen to me. I have two years of contract with them.

"I hope it is resolved as soon as possible because I need to play. I just will not stay in a place where they do not want me," he said.



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