Sunday 20 August 2017

Chelsea close in on midfield target as Antonio Conte nears reunion with Juventus star

MILAN, ITALY - OCTOBER 29: Head coach Antonio Conte and Claudio Marchisio of FC Juventus celebrates scoring the second goal during the Serie A match between FC Internazionale Milano and Juventus FC at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on October 29, 2011 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)
MILAN, ITALY - OCTOBER 29: Head coach Antonio Conte and Claudio Marchisio of FC Juventus celebrates scoring the second goal during the Serie A match between FC Internazionale Milano and Juventus FC at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on October 29, 2011 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)

Luke Brown

Chelsea have had a €20m bid for the Juventus midfielder Claudio Marchisio rejected, according to reports.

However, the club are thought to be increasingly confident that the 31-year-old can be lured away from the Juventus Stadium, and it has been claimed Antonio Conte would be willing to spend up to €30m to sign the player.

Marchisio has spent his entire career at Juventus and is closing in on 400 appearances for the club, but has grown frustrated with a lack of playing time this season.

The midfielder has featured in just 15 Serie A matches this season – the lowest amount since he first broke into the Juventus first-team in the 2006/07 season spent in Serie B – with Massimiliano Allegri favouring a midfield trio of Hernanes, Sami Khedira and Miralem Pjanić.

Conte knows the player well from the three seasons he spent coaching in Turin and The Sun report that he has not been discouraged by an initial offer of £17m being rejected by his former club.

The newspaper also claims that Allegri is open to selling Marchisio because he needs to raise some money from player sales before he can chase his own targets.

Juventus have been repeatedly linked with the Fiorentina striker Federico Bernardeschi in recent weeks, while Monaco’s Fabino and Southampton’s Dusan Tadic are also believed to be high on Allegri’s list of objectives.

Marchisio played regularly under Conte for both Juventus and the Italian national team and would occupy the central midfield role alongside N’Golo Kante were he to move to the Premier League.

A box-to-box midfielder who reads the game superbly well, Marchisio was regularly deployed in a deep-lying playmaker role by Conte and is also a renowned set-piece taker.

(© Independent News Service)

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